The Indian Overseas Congress (IOC), the international arm of India’s grand old party, announced appointment of ‘country presidents’ in Europe last week. The appointments were announced by the IOC chief Sam Pitroda, a technocrat turned politician.
Dr Komal Kumar Javarappa, 35, a molecular biologist working in the field of blood cancer, will head the IOC’s Finnish chapter.
Javarappa, who is from Mysore, said the IOC was only recently established in Finland. “I have worked in different countries as a scientist. When I look at India… the field of science, especially health… I feel we lack good research. Scientists like me should be involved in these kind of things. My idea is to go back to India in the future and do something good for my country. The ideology of the Congress attracted and motivated me,” he said.
Garisober Singh Gill, the owner of the beer brand Chakra, is the IOC’s new country president in Norway. Gill said his father, Gurmail Gill, a former India-level footballer, was the founder of the IOC in Europe and the party has a strong presence in Norway. “My father has been in the Congress all his life. Now I take over… The aim is to bring investments, industries to India,” he said.
Other appointees include Dilbag Channa (Italy), Joy Kochattu (Switzerland), Sonia Heldsted (Sweden), Sunil Korah (Austria), Sukheevan Preet Singh (Belgium), Harpinder Singh Ghag (Holland) and Amarjit Singh (Poland).
Rajwinder Singh, the IOC convenor for Europe, said the outfit has a presence in 23 European countries. Most of the new appointees are businessmen, professionals and from the field of academia. Singh himself is in the hotel and real estate business.
Singh said Channa is an immigration consultant, Heldsted works as an HR manager at a hospital in Stockholm, Sukheevan is an India food trader and distributor, Ghag is into transportation, Kochattu is a businessman who is also associated with the World Malayalee Council, Amarjit works in the finance sector and Korah is an IT specialist.
Rahul Pathinettil Raj, an agricultural scientist who works in Munich and leads the activities of the Shashi Tharoor-headed All India Professional Congress, said both it and the IOC are collaborating with professionals from India across Europe to spread the Congress’ ideas and attract professionals.