Indian Diaspora Council

Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Amb. Bishwadip Dey, farewell visit to Grenada

Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Amb. Bishwadip Dey, farewell visit to Grenada

PRESS RELEASE
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE HONORARY CONSUL OF INDIA TO GRENADA

High Commissioner of India to Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Bishwadip Dey pays farewell visit to Grenada

17th January 2019, Grenada — Yesterday, the High Commissioner of India to Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Dominica, His Excellency, Bishwadip Dey made his final official visit to Grenada before he commences a new assignment in Bangladesh. He was accompanied by Honorary Consul of India to Grenada, Shadel Nyack Compton and Indian Cultural Centre Director, Ashok Jajoria.

The Governor General of Grenada, Her Excellency Dame Cecile De La Grenade held a private audience with High Commissioner Dey and he visited Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Dr. Keith Mitchell, Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Peter David and Permanent Secretary Alva Brown, and staff.

Indian High Commissioner of India to Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Dominica, Amb. Bishwadip Dey and Grenada’s Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Keith Mitchell

During his meeting with Dr. Mitchell, High Commissioner Dey expressed his gratitude for his cooperation during his time in office and assured him the continued support from the Government of India. He conveyed his sadness in leaving his post after just over two years and expressed his love for Grenada and its people and commented that this is what Heaven would be like. The High Commissioner also commended the people of Grenada for their kindness, friendliness, and hospitality and added that many opportunities for business, investment, tourism, and cultural exchange exist for the island and that he hoped our leaders would continue to explore further areas collaboration. He described Grenada as a clean, safe, and beautiful country where many Indians would love to spend time. He said that many unexplored opportunities still existed for our people and businesses.

Prime Minister Mitchell thanked High Commissioner Dey for the many ongoing initiatives in training, education, investment, and building cultural awareness and exchange between India and Grenada, while discussions with Foreign Minister David centered around possible treaties between the two countries and opportunities for “Citizenship By Investment” for Indian nationals.

Both countries had forged a strong and mutually beneficial relationship during the High Commissioner’s term in office. It was clear that their friendship and understanding had made great advancements for the two nations. Two such programmes are the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) and Know India Programme funded by the Government of India, in which eight Grenadians have participated last year. His Excellency, High Commissioner Dey met with three Grenadian participants of the ITEC programme (Rachael Criss, Allia Sween and Carla Sylvester), who all expressed that they had gained a wealth of knowledge during their time in India. Each participant conveyed their gratitude for such an amazing initiative and commended the Indian people for their industrious and hospitable nature, stating that the opportunity was a dream realized for them. Several more students will be taking advantage of these programs during this year.

High Commissioner Dey, an avid promoter of building people to people relations and strong cultural and educational linkages, was also excited that for the first time Grenada will be represented at the world’s largest religious pilgrimage, the Kumbh Mela. Mr. Simon Green, a Grenadian cultural and tourism advocate, was selected to enjoy the monumental river bathe which happens every 12 years. On January 15, the first day of the event this year, more than 20 million people took the religious bath. Mr. Green, who departs later this month, makes history for Grenada being the first Grenadian representative, and one of 140 million pilgrims expected to attend during the month-long festival.

Honorary Consul Nyack Compton expressed her appreciation to His Excellency High Commissioner Dey for his strong support, his commitment to strengthening the bilateral relations between India and Grenada and his keen interest the development of our people and nation.

For further details and applications for the ‘Know India’ and ‘Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation’ Programmes can be found at www.kip.gov.in and www.itecgoi.in respectively or by contacting the Honorary Consul on honconsulindiatogrenada@gmail.com or 442 5115.

Vishnu Mahadeo honored by Indian Consulate in New York

Vishnu Mahadeo honored by Indian Consulate in New York

Mr. Vishnu Mahadeo of Richmond Hill, Queens, New York was honored by the Indian Consulate in New York on January 12, 2019 with special recognition for his outstanding efforts in social and cultural activities among the Indo-Caribbean community of Queens., New York. Mr. Mahadeo was among 10 notable non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) recognized at the event.

Mr. Mahadeo is a prominent and well respected advocate of the Richmond Hill-Ozone Park, Queens Indo-Caribbean community in New York, actively engaged for over 30 years in promoting the cultural, academic and socio-economic interests of the community Indo-Caribbean community in New York.

Mr. Mahadeo is a prominent and well respected advocate of the Richmond Hill-Ozone Park, Queens Indo-Caribbean community in New York, actively engaged for over 30 years in promoting the cultural, academic and socio-economic interests of the community Indo-Caribbean community in New York.

Assisting Amb. Chakravarty in presentation the citations to Mr. Mahadeo was Mr. Mohinder Taneja, community activist of Nassau County.

Mr. Mahadeo was accorded 2 citations by the Indian Consulate in New York.
Inscription on Citation #1 as follows:
“For his dedicated and outstanding service for over 30 years to the Indo-Caribbean community of Richmond Hill-Ozone Park. His active engagement within the community has seen changes in the local school district, increased accessibility for the disabled, raised awareness about medical coverage for the aging population and has brought a reform beneficial to all”

Inscription on Citation #1 as follows:
“Presented to Vishnu Mahadeo (Richmond Hill Economic Development Council) in recognition of his leadership and community service”

In accepting the awards, Mr. Mahadeo said, “I am grateful and honored to receive this recognition by the Government of India. I receive it on behalf of the Indo-Caribbean community whose forbears left India over 180 years ago. Thank you”.

Mahadeo founded and manages the vibrant Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park Senior Center catering to the needs of a growing population of seniors for available medical insurance services, advice and guidance to the senior citizens on their entitlement (Medicare and SSA) and HRA benefits, regular lunches, events and group tours.

Over the last several years, he has conducted training classes for voter registration and solicitation of petitions in the Richmond Hill area. As a US Census crew leader, he recruited community partners and local residents to work for the US Census 2010 and is actively engaged in Census 2020. He was the Community Liaison for NY State Senator Sanders Jr. solicitation of petitions in the Richmond Hill-Ozone Park area.

Mahadeo is the recipient of several community service awards, including from East Indian Diaspora (NY) and Sanskaar Bhaarti International (Guyana).

Mahadeo graduated from the University of Surrey in Guildford, England in 1981 with Bachelors of Science with Honors in Engineering. He was a NYC math and science teacher with emphasis on special educational needs students, and serves as a President and Secretary in the Richmond Hill High School PTA. Mahadeo lives with his wife and 2children in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York.

Photos

Presentation - Mohinder Taneja, Vishnu Mahadeo, Amb. Sandeep Chakravarty
Honorees & Presenters with Amb. Chakravorty (center)
Attendees at Indian Consulate Recognition Event Jan 12, 2019
Citation #1 to Vishnu Mahadeo
Citation #2 to Vishnu Mahadeo

IDRF Canada Recognizes Ken Singh’s Humanitarian Efforts

IDRF Canada Recognizes Ken Singh’s Humanitarian Efforts

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is very pleased to announce that International Development and Relief Federation (IRDF) has recognized the global humanitarian efforts of Ken (Kanhai) and Jessie Singh at a ceremony held on December 18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.

IRDF’s mission of “Saving lives and rebuilding communities” (since 1984) is coincident with Ken Singh’s continuing contributions to humanitarian efforts worldwide. IDC Life Member Ken Singh of Toronto, Canada, has donated $20,000 CAN ($16,000 USD) to towards Kerala Flood relief. Ken Singh remarked that his “contribution is to help those in urgent need in Kerala, being of service to humanity at such times of massive despair and destruction”

“Thank you again for your very generous support. Winston (Kassim) and I believe there are synergies in your philosophy of helping humanity and our work in this realm”, said Penny Fancy, IDRF Director of Resource Development”. Refer to IDC Press Release “Support for Relief Efforts for Victims of Floods in Kerala, India” Ken Singh made the generous donation upon solicitation of Cliff Rajkumar, president of IC Canada, who conferred with IDC on the most efficient and expedient way for optimum effect. Guyana born Ken is President of Atlas Cargo, International Freight Transportation in Toronto with branches in Calgary, Edmonton Montreal and Vancouver. He was recently profiled in IDC JOURNAL Newsletter. Excerpt from IDC profile: “Ken believes in giving back to society and he finds the time, amidst his busy schedule to actively assist in his local community and many other social causes worldwide. The Life Illustrated magazine article states, “He volunteers with the CPPS, a catholic mission project that works on projects to provide health care and clean water in Africa. The Central American arm of World Vision; Bosnian Children Cultural Heritage Center are all beneficiaries of his efforts to contribute to the various communities.”
IDRF directors Penny Fancy and Winston Kassim recognizing Ken and Jessie Singh for their humanitarian efforts. Also shown Jessie Singh and Cliff Rajkumar (President, IDC Toronto)

GOPIO Honors Ashook Ramsaran at New York Event

GOPIO Honors Ashook Ramsaran at New York Event

At a special ceremony held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Indian Consulate in New York, Guyanese-born Ashook Ramsaran was honored by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) for his services to GOPIO. The event was attended by GOPIO officials and Amb Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul of General of Indian in New York, as well as several family members of Ashook Ramsaran, friends, associates and well-wishers.

Ramsaran was presented with a recognition plaque by GOPIO officials who were accompanied by Amb. Chakravorty. The inscription on the plaque states as follows:

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin
GOPIO International
Honors
Ashook K. Ramsaran
USA
for his many years of service, commitment
contributions to GOPIO as its past president, executive vice
president and secretary general.

The plaque was signed by the following GOPIO officials: Thomas Abraham (Chairman); Sunny Kulathakal (President); Inder Singh (Immediate Past Chairman); Niraj Baxi (Immediate Past President); Ram Gadhavi (Vice President); Rajeev Mehta (Secretary).

GOPIO officials Thomas Abraham, Ram Gadhavi, Rajeev Mehta, Lal Motwani and Asha Samant were assisted by Amb Sandeep Chakravorty in presenting the plaque to Ramsaran. The text of the plaque was read in full by Rajeev Mehta. Absent from the event were Kulathakal, Singh and Baxi who were also signators on the plaque.

Amb. Chakravorty and Ashook Ramsaran
Amb. Chakravorty and GOPIO Officials presenting honors plaque to Ashook Ramsaran

Ramsaran served as GOPIO International’s Secretary General and Executive Vice-Present before his election to 2 successive terms as President of GOPIO International beginning in 2011. He is a paid life member of GOPIO International.

During his tenure with GOPIO, Ramsaran collaborated closely with the Government of India to construct and dedicate the Kolkata Memorial on January 11, 2011 in Kolkata, India based on his initiative, persistence and his words on the inscription in recognition and remembrance of Indian indentured laborers sent to British colonies from 1834 thru’ 1920.

In addition, Ramsaran’s initiatives to India’s then Ministry of Overseas Indians Affairs (MOIA), encouragement and active support enabled the construction of Indian Arrival monuments to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Indian Arrival in Guyana, for which he wrote the inscription and dedicated the monuments on May 5, 2013. Also, the 169th anniversary of Indian Arrival in Trinidad, for which he also wrote the inscriptions and dedicated the monuments on May 30, 2014; initiated, developed and unveiled monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of abolition of Indian indentureship in Trinidad & Tobago (March 20, 2017).

Ramsaran obtained New York State Senate and Assembly recognition, proclamation and citation for Guyana’s 50th independence anniversary (2016); New York State Governor and New York State Assembly recognition and citations for the 100th anniversary commemoration of the abolition of Indian Indenturedship. He was instrumental in obtaining 12 citations and commendations from US, NYS and NYC officials honoring the 100th birth anniversary of Guyana’s late president Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

Ramsaran is currently President of Indian Diaspora Council International; Chair of New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital Community Advisory Council; Vice President of Queens Civic Congress; Board Member of St. John’s University Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies; and Board Member of Fresh Meadows Civic Association.

Working with various regional and international organizations spanning many years, Ramsaran actively engages several series of regional and global initiatives to “engage, embrace and enhance” the global Indian Diaspora on the basis of shared history and heritage, common interests, inter-ethnic relations, education and benefits of collaboration, economic engagement and issues of concern; to link diverse communities of Indian Diaspora, strengthen the bonds and explore the benefits of collaboration.

Ramsaran serves annually as “Principal for the Day” in the New York Public School system beginning in 2000 and is the recipient of many honors, citations, awards, commendations and recognition nationally and internationally. He is prominently featured in the Global Indian 2011 publication of “Top 25 Most Influential Indians in North America” and several local, national, regional and international publications.

Ramsaran is the recipient of many citations, awards, commendations and recognition nationally and internationally. For his many notable contributions, commitment and exemplary service to the global Indian diaspora, Ramsaran was accorded the Uttar Pradesh Ratna award (2016) in Agra, India and the prestigious Government of India’s Pravasi Samman Award by the President of India (2011) in New Delhi, India.

2018 Dharmic Arts and Humanities Award to Sasenarine Persaud

2018 Dharmic Arts and Humanities Award to Sasenarine Persaud

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) based in Washington, DC https://www.hafsite.org/ has named Guyanese born Sasenarine Persaud as the 2018 recipient of the HAF Award for the Advancement of Dharmic Arts and Humanities from the Tampa Bay Chapter “to recognize significant contributions towards enlightening and educating others through many inspiring literary works of dharmic values and traditions.”

Read more…

GTHK Announces Expansion Plans to Save Babies

GTHK Announces Expansion Plans to Save Babies

October 18, 2018 Toronto: Guyana Help the Kids’ (GTHK) President, Dr Narendra Singh, announced at the organization’s festive Havana Nights fundraising dinner and dance on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at the Woodbine Banquet Hall in Toronto, plans to expand GTHK’s charitable operation from its current focus on Guyana to the Eastern Caribbean region and then globally. As a result, the logo was revised and presented to reflect their global expansion ambition. The event was attended by almost 600 supporters, benefactors and well-wishers of GTHK’s innovative and successful life-saving neonatal care program that transformed Guyana’s neonatal care facilitation with impressive infant mortality reductions since its launch.

Dr Singh, a Guyanese born practising pediatrician in Toronto, visited the neonatal ward at the Georgetown Hospital in 2007 and was emotionally moved by his observation of the substandard care and facilitation for the new-borns. The prevailing inadequate primary infant care conditions were a key factor, which contributed to an unacceptably high mortality rate for the premature babies. He noticed that the lack of basic modern life-saving neonatal equipment and the deficiency of qualified physicians and nurses in pediatrics desperately needed to be improved and enhanced to give the premature babies a better chance of survival.

Dr Singh and his wife, Dr Shirley Sit, also a pediatrician in Toronto took action immediately and set about to build a team of like-minded professionals and supporters who shared their concerns and committed themselves to improve the conditions with the main goal of reducing the infant mortality rate with safer deliveries and better care for the babies…especially the premature new-borns. As a result, they established Guyana Help the Kids Foundation (GHTK) under the leadership of Dr Singh and set about to develop and execute a functional plan for funding the required equipment and requisite paediatrics training for the local nurses and doctors.

Dr Singh gives credit to the invaluable and dedicated contributions of Dr Andrea Hunter, DR Lief Nelin and Dr Cait Yeager for championing and spearheading the critically needed pediatric residency program and the neonatal nursing program. He also commends Mr Kelly Pearce for his astute creative initiatives in procuring, on a limited budget, the essential life-saving neonatal equipment. As well, he graciously recognized that Terry Sawh and Mahendra Singh were relentlessly committed and dutybound in their implacable logistical and operational support, since the founding of the organization.

Notwithstanding, GHTK ground-breaking success in Guyana could not have happened without the unwavering support of families, friends, professional associates, the Guyanese dedicated paediatrics team and supporting businesses together with the collaboration of partnering doctors, hospitals and associated Canadian universities. Their contributions and support have made this philanthropic endeavour a resounding success…to the express and specific benefit of the Guyanese families who have benefited from this magnanimous humanitarian life-saving initiative.

In 2013, GHTK in partnership with the Guyana Ministry of health has transformed the six primary Public Hospitals, which accounts for 90% of the deliveries in Guyana with professionally trained pediatric nurses and paediatricians. There has been a 50% reduction in the number of infant deaths at the Georgetown Public Hospital in the first year with continued improvement each succeeding year as the program matured with more qualified pediatric support and better equipment facilitation.

The Pediatric Residency and Neonatal Nursing Program, under the guidance of Dr Hunter, Dr Nelin and Dr Yeager, have to-date trained and accredited 15 Guyanese pediatricians and 70 NICU nurses to become more self-supportive in delivering the highest level of care to the hospitals and communities in Guyana. We all owe these commendable and kind-hearted humanitarians our deepest gratitude for their selfless service to the people of Guyana.

The Masters of Ceremonies for the lively and exuberant Havana Nights fundraising event, Mahindra Singh and Niluka Kottegoda, officiated a pleasant and seamless program of entertainment, music and dancing with high enthusiasm and light humour.

Dr Singh’s passion and commitment to this noble cause was evident as he shared the success of the GHTK program in Guyana. He provided impressive statistical data, which authenticated the dramatic reductions of the country’s infant mortality. He then showed a poignant video of an emotionally grateful mother who credited him, Dr, Sara Singh, Dr Winsome Scott and the amazing team of pediatric caregivers for saving her 27 weeks premature baby who was auspiciously named Miracle. Clearly, a fitting testimony to the remarkable achievement of this life-saving program that was conceived and became a reality under Dr Singh’s leadership and the uncompromising support of his Canadian and Guyanese dedicated team. He indicated that this event seeks to raise $60,000.00 to fund 30 new critically needed ventilators to replace the regional hospitals ageing equipment. I am told that the well-organized and executed event raised $70,000.00 from the kind generosity and compassionate consideration of the sponsors, donors, silent auction and pledges.

Dr Sara Singh specifically came from Guyana for this event and talked about her morally rewarding experience as a practising Guyanese pediatrician at the Georgetown Hospital. She graciously expressed gratitude for the training she received through GHTK and the critically life-saving services that are now available to infants because of GHTK compassionate humanitarian work. Her genuine dedication and sense of commitment to her work as a pediatrician were self-evident. She admitted that she has found her calling and purpose to loyally serve the Guyanese people as a true patriot in her capacity as a pediatrician.

Guyana Consulate General, Ms An Yin Choo congratulated and thanked all involved in GHTK’s mission and expressed appreciation for the remarkable accomplishments and achievements that were made to the benefit of numerous Guyanese children and their families. She was emotive in her expressions about her own personal experiences as a mother and the trauma mothers go through with the life and death risks associated with premature births.

Dr Narendra Singh gave some well-deserved recognition awards to two of his loyal and champion supporters: Board member Terry Sawh for his unfailing contribution, support and dedication to GHTK objectives and also to Steve Ninja, Dax Sukraj, and Tony White for embracing, and believing without compromise, in the significant life-saving humanitarian and public service endeavours to which GHTK members are committed.

GHTK is now in the process of developing the necessary strategy to launch a similar life-saving program, based on the relative needs, in the Eastern Caribbean on the footprints and lessons learned from the successful Guyana experiment. As well, they have ambitious plans to advance their benevolent mission to reduce infant mortality… GLOBALLY

It is worth noting that these compassionate and kind-hearted expressions of selfless service and benevolent altruistic contributions to causes that are outside the immediacy of our own families, underscores our deep human connections with each other, regardless of race, ethnicity or beliefs. It is indeed natural for all humans to share the same hopes and dreams to live a healthy and rewarding life with the same fullness and joy that characterize our common humanity. Every life is precious and is worthy of the same rights, benediction and love that we ALL seek here on planet earth.

MC’s and board members and Niluka Kottegoda and Mahendra Singh
The pediatric Doctor from Guyana Dr. Sara Singh
The Counsel General of Guyana Ms Anyin Choo and Dr Narendra Singh.

IDC’s Special 90th Birthday Tribute to Dr Yesu Persaud, Icon of Guyana

IDC’s Special 90th Birthday Tribute to Dr. Yesu Persaud, Icon of Guyana

GOPIO to Honor Ashook Ramsaran

GOPIO to Honor Ashook Ramsaran

Mr. Ashook Ramsaran

Guyanese born Ashook Ramsaran is to be honored by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) for his services to GOPIO. The event will be held at the Indian Consulate in New York on Saturday, October 27, 2018 and to be attended by GOPIO officials and Amb Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of Indian in New York.

Ramsaran served as GOPIO International’s Secretary General and Executive Vice-Present before his election to 2 successive terms as President of GOPIO International beginning in 2011. He is a paid life member of GOPIO International.

Ramsaran is currently President of Indian Diaspora Council International; Chair of New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital Community Advisory Council; Vice President of Queens Civic Congress; Board Member of St. John’s University Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies; and Board Member of Fresh Meadows Civic Association.

Born in Corentyne, Guyana, Ramsaran is third generation of Indian immigrant ancestors who came to Guyana as indentured laborers. His great grandfather Pooriya arrived in Guyana in 1853 and his great grandmother Radhah arrived in 1860. Ramsaran immigrated in 1968 to the USA where he earned graduate engineering degrees in electrical engineering at Polytechnic University in New York. In 1988 he established Ramex, his family owned electronics manufacturing enterprise in New York. Ashook is married to Camille (formerly Camille Parvati Ramgadoo of Guyana) and they are parents of Arnold Mahendra and Gerald Rajendra, both married and residing in USA; grandparents of Jaden Ashook, 13; Gavin Lakshman, 11.

Working with various regional and international organizations spanning many years, Ramsaran actively engages several series of regional and global initiatives to “engage, embrace and enhance” the global Indian Diaspora on the basis of shared history and heritage, common interests, inter-ethnic relations, education and benefits of collaboration, economic engagement and issues of concern; to link diverse communities of Indian Diaspora, strengthen the bonds and explore the benefits of collaboration.

Ramsaran serves annually as “Principal for the Day” in the New York Public School system beginning in 2000 and is the recipient of many honors, citations, awards, commendations and recognition nationally and internationally. He is prominently featured in the Global Indian 2011 publication of “Top 25 Most Influential Indians in North America” and several local, national, regional and international publications.

For his many notable contributions, commitment and exemplary service to the global Indian diaspora, Ramsaran was accorded the Uttar Pradesh Ratna award (2016) in Agra, India and the prestigious Government of India’s Pravasi Samman Award by the President of India (2011) in New Delhi, India.

The Great Kolkata Autumn Heritage Festival 2018

The Great Kolkata Autumn Heritage Festival 2018
Highlights on The Great Kolkata Autumn Heritage Festival

October 13, 2018 in Kolkata, India

Chief Minister Smt. Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal inaugurates Durga Puja 2018
US Ambassador to India,. Ken Juster, presented with photograph of last year Durgapuja “New York skyline by Mridul Pathak
Amb. Ken Juster presented a special medal to Mridul Pathak – one side Amb of USA and the other side shows Indo-USA flags with Hindi inscription

Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, India Smt. Mamata Banerjee & Mridul Pathak (Left)
US Ambassador Ken Juster (left) and Mridul Pathak (Centre)
Amb. Ken Juster presented with Durgapuja “New York skyline by Mridul Pathak

Gandhi Peace Day Celebrated in South Florida, USA

Gandhi Peace Day Celebrated in South Florida, USA

September 30, 2018 in Davie, Florida

Hundreds of Gandhi’s admirers and observers gathered at the Gandhi Statue in the town of Davie, Florida to hear the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi. The Consul General of India, Dr. Swati Vijay Kulkarni specially flew from Atlanta to attend this august gathering on September 30, 2018.

Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi – Grandson of the Mahatma & C. Rajagopalachari attended the Gandhi Peace Day in the Presence of Dr. Swati Kulkarni Consul General of India, Mayor Judy Paul of Davie, Florida & hundreds of admirers.

The Statue was erected in 2012 and unveiled by Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam on October 02.

As usual, any Gandhi program starts with Bhajans so was done at this event organized at the Community Center at the site of the Statue. To show the well-deserved respect to Gandhi at the standing only attendance people were there from all walks of life: representing from Kashmir to Kerala and from Rajasthan to Bengal. Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Jews, the Whites, the blacks and the Hispanics were all in attendance.

The weather was great in support of the event and speeches by the Consul General Dr. Kulkarni and Professor Gandhi added immeasurably to the sanctity of the event. Dr. Kulkarni reminisced her experiences while she was posted in South Africa and her visit to Mahatma’s old homes in Durban & Johannesburg. Professor Rajmohan in addition to his scholarly discourse of more than 20 minutes added a few remembrances of his childhood in the company of Bapu and Ba (Kasturba).

One of the anecdotes related to Mahatmas’ frugality. When Rajmohan was about 7 years old, he got a new pair of eyeglasses and Gandhi Ji teased him about the new glasses. As normal, Rajmohan politely protested by stating that he needed them because of his weak eyesight. Gandhi Ji responded by saying: yes, you did need new lenses but not the new frame; old frame would have worked as well.

After the speeches, the gathering offered flowers to the Gandhi Statue followed by a sumptuous lunch.

2018 Rajmohan Gandhi receiving Proclamation from Davie Mayor Judy Paul
2012 - Unveiling Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam
2018 Gandhi Statue Board Members & Elected Officials with Gandhi, Mayor & the Indian Consul General
2018 Prof Gandhi, Mayor, CG Dr. Kulkarni, Dr. Agrawal & Board members
2018 Mayor Paul, Prof Gandhi, Dr. Kulkarni, Dr. Agrawal, & Hemant Patel event Organizer