The history of BOPIO is documented in three handbooks. The books were originally published in 1993, 1995 and 1997. The editors were Dr Paul Flatther and Mr Sinna Mani. They contain essays from Dr Thomas Abraham served as a convener of the first global convention of people of Indian Origin in New York , Sudha Acharya President of the Federation of Indian Association of New York (1983-1984), Lord Megand Desai, Lord Bhiku Parekh, His excellancy Dr L M Sanghvi and others. The book pays tribute to Diane Birch for her production assistance. A special thanks to the London Borough of Lewisham, for the financil and practical support for the Festival of India. Te bookalso acknowledges

Cllr Rabi Martin and Geeta Bandlish for their enthusiasm and Sally Lovett for the reserch.

 

The books are currently being edited by Nancy Woods and will be available on Amazon. In the mean time please use the contact form for more information.

 

The organisation is also indebted to Ashvir Sangha of Queens College, Oxford University for his research thesis Re-imaging the British Indian Diaspora in modern political discourse which is relevant now. The public copy of the research on the history of BOPIO upto the present times is availabe to read here. Please open Link. 

 

A NEW BOPIO CHAPTER 

 

I was appointed the General Secretary for the British Organisation of People of Indian Origin at the House of Lords by Mr Sinna Mani,  Lord Patel and Mr Anil Bhanot. If I recall I was the only women in the meeting room and I was appointed for the role of General Secretary. At that time I had no idea about the task that I was given. During the course of my work I was constantly mentored by Mr Sinna Mani. This has carried on from 2011 up to now. Our attempts to carry on with the same name came under scrutiny and the organisation leaders unanimously agreed to change the name to British Organisation of People of Indian Sub Continental Origin. At the same time the structure of the organisation was changed by Mr Sinna Mani. Prior to 2011 only organisations could join us. However after the Solidarity conference ; a renewed awareness caused a scramble for leadership roles and individual memberships. There was a surge of members who wanted to become part of this historic organisation which had an illustrious past of Academics and contacts  at high government levels in countries such as Russia, India, US, Egypt and UK. Everyone wanted to join the bandwagon and then started a hunt for a Chairman to lead and pave the way for the future. This period had a massive impact on my brain because I was doing the work alongside Mr Mani and under his vision.  It was such a gratifying and pleasurable experience to work for the organisation as I was constantly evolving as a person and learning new things.  Keeping the same vision and mission of the organisation and I saw the difficulty to find a suitable lead in Britain meant that the organisation could not move forward under the same vision. Despite having a great vision for half a century it was hard to perceive how to move forward with the organisation when there were so many technological and political changes happening and which could not be ignored. Mr Mani was getting on and the pressure was mounting as what the organisation required was young skilled blood. On every account Mr Mani tried, but as the role was voluntary it was hard to sustain. I realised that this was going to be a  pains taking exercise and I needed knowledge and skills so I decided to pursue studying and I completed a course in MSC International Development Studies at Birkbeck College. It was a eureka moment for me because I started to devise a plan for a social enterprise within the organisation’s vision. This would mean I could carry on my global work with a sustainable plan of action. It is much harder to do than what I had anticipated as it was a complex and strategic task to deviate the organisation. The constitution and it's aims remain unchanged only how we approach problems and how to solve them under the organisation umbrella changes. A tranansmutaion of ideas led  to  changing  the structure and approach and that also after many discussions with Mr Mani.  

My analysis concludes that The organisation did not deliberately marginalise women, but the work was time consuming and pains takingly thorough.  I decided to make the projects my own and as a woman I realized the need for a multidimensional approach on gender issues and moving away from traditional women empowerment to practical solutions. As a development practioner I also gained knowledge about finding practical solutions to global business negotiations.

In essence I  have used the reflective Gibbs 1988 Cycle model  for the analysis which allowed me to reach my evaluation.