Indian Diaspora Council

Appointment of Prof Ghan Shyam, Dir of Academic & Cultural Outreach, Uttar Pradesh

PROF. GHAN SHYAM APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF IDC’s ACADEMIC & CULTURAL OUTREACH, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA

Prof. Ghan Shyam

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof Ghan Shyam as Indian Diaspora Council’s Director of Academic and Cultural Outreach in Uttar Pradesh, India.

This appointment takes effect immediately. The term of this appointment shall be for a period of three (3) years, is voluntary and can be renewed upon approval of the Board of Directors of the Indian Diaspora Council. The position reports directly to the president of IDC International.

The portfolio of Indian Diaspora Council’s Director of Academic & Cultural Outreach in Uttar Pradesh, India shall include: Advice and recommendations on outreach and engagement as well as liaison with academic institutions in Uttar Pradesh, India on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council; for on-going and planned Indian Diaspora Council Indian Diaspora research, surveys and migration history projects, events and programs in India and globally; promote and advance Indian Diaspora Council’s recommendations, suggestions and proposals to academic institutions in Uttar Pradesh, India and solicit collaboration and support where appropriate; including but not limited to organizations, academic institutions, scholars and researchers; advice, recommendations and assistance to descendants of Indians from Uttar Pradesh seeking to trace and visit their ancestral roots. We expect that this portfolio of responsibilities to be enlarged subsequently to include other areas as Indian Diaspora Council enhances its outreach, programs and projects Dr.Ghan Shyam was born in Azamgarh District of Uttar Pradesh, India. He earned his BA from Allahabad University, MA & PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He joined Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, UP in 1998, is currently a full professor in the department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences. He has taught courses on the history of modern Europe, American history, and the history of the Indian diaspora, among others. Through his teaching, he encourages his students to broaden their understanding of other countries and societies and develop a critical bent of mind.

Dr.Ghan Shyam had been Fulbright Fellow at New York University twice; in 2005 as a short term fellow to study US Civilization and for the academic session 2016-17 as a visiting scholar to teach and conduct research on the topic “In the Land of Opportunity: A Comparative Study of Indo-Caribbean & Indian Immigrants in New York City since 1965”. His current research interest is in Indian diaspora studies focusing on Indo-Caribbean diaspora. He has published articles on the identity and social roots of Indian-origin people in the Caribbean, and made presentations at international conferences in India, the U.K., Canada, the USA and Trinidad.

IDC’s Board of Directors places high value on Prof. Ghan Shyam’s position, experience, expertise and shared interests to enhance the goals of IDC in India and globally, and welcomes him to the IDC family.

Appointment Cliff Rajkumar as IDC National Coordinator, Canada

CLIFF RAJKUMAR APPOINTED NATIONAL COORDINATOR INDIAN DIASPORA COUNCIL, CANADA

Mr. Cliff Rajkumar

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Cliff Rajkumar as Indian Diaspora Council’s National Coordinator, Canada.

This appointment takes effect immediately. The term of this appointment is for a period of three (3) years, is voluntary and can be renewed upon approval of the Board of Directors of the Indian Diaspora Council. The Indian Diaspora Council’s National Coordinator, Canada reports directly to the president of IDC International.

The portfolio of IDC’s National Coordinator, Canada shall include: Active interaction, liaison and engagement with the Government of Canada, Provincial Governments in Canada, organizations, institutions and agencies in Canada on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council for matters relating to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs); for on-going and planned Indian Diaspora Council projects, events and programs in globally; promote and advance the interests of Indian Diaspora Council with the Government of Canada, Provincial Governments in Canada, organizations, institutions and agencies in Canada; advance Indian Diaspora Council’s recommendations, suggestions and proposals to the Government of Canada , Provincial Governments in Canada, organizations, institutions and agencies in Canada and solicit collaboration and support where appropriate.

Cliff Rajkumar migrated from Guyana to Canada in 1974 and is a graduate from Seneca Polytechnic with high honors. He is a prominent community advocate residing in Toronto and passionate about the preservation of cultures and traditions. He strongly believes in civic duties and responsibilities and does not hesitate to serve and contribute towards good causes for the community and society at large. Mr. Rajkumar is presently a Business and Financial Consultant and Entrepreneur, with over 40 years of senior executive experience with three of the world’s largest corporations: Comptroller & Director, ITT Industries of Canada, Financial Services Div.(1977-90); Senior VP & Director, HR and Administration, Deutsche Bank Int’l Financial Services Division (1990-03); Senior VP, HR and Administration with GE Capital, Int’l Financial Services Division (1993-04). Mr. Rajkumar has served with distinction in his various senior management and leadership roles and is known to be a very talented and effective results oriented executive with strong emphasis on value creation through operational efficiency and competitive posturing. He was instrumental in leading various organizational realignment(s) through acquisitions, divesture and internal strategic and tactical repositioning.

IDC’s Board of Directors firmly believes that Mr. Rajkumar’s experience, expertise and shared interests would enhance the goals of IDC in Canada and globally, and welcomes him to the IDC family.

Conference in Reunion Island

Conference in Reunion Island: "IS ENGAGISM A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY?"

The India Diaspora Council — Reunion Island (IDC), in collaboration with Association “Memory of Crève – Cœur” and CIRCI, have concluded an interactive conference titled “L’ENGAGISME A-T- IL ETE UN CRIME CONTRE L’HUMANITE ?” (“Is engagism a crime against humanity?”). The event was held on 30th June, 2017 at 17:30 (5:30pm) at the University of La Reunion, Faculty of Arts and Humanities and moderated by Jean Regis Ramsamy, PhD, Indian Diaspora Council Coordinator of Reunion Island. The keynote speaker was M. Egata-Patche Abady, a distinguished entrepreneur and historian; Book: L’engagisme (coolie-trade) a-til été un crime contre l’humanité (“Coolie trade in Reunion Island was same as slavery”). Other speakers included M. Latchoumanin Michel, Professor of Education.

Egata-Patche Abady
Abady EGATA-PATCHE, Latchoumanin Michel, Ramsamy Jean Regis

Notable attendees included Serge Camatchy, former Vice-president of Region Reunion, and Hon. K. H. Bhati, Consul General of India in Reunion Island. Snacks and hospitality provided by Association “Memory of Crève – Cœur”, IDC International president Ashook Ramsaran remarked that, “IDC considers this and similar conferences as important discussions on the journeys among the Indian Diaspora, its history and sad chapters of inhumanity perpetrated against Indian Indentured labourers during that unforgettable period.” Dr. Jean Regis Ramsamy, Indian Diaspora Council Coordinator of Reunion Island, stated that, “Our conference brought together partnership with IDC, Association “Memory of Crève – Cœur”, and University of Reunion to discuss the crucial topic of “Is engagism a crime against humanity? which is significant to PIOs in Reunion and other countries”.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between IDC and ARSP

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) and Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad (ARSP)

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) and Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad-Bharat (ARSP) have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 30th June 2017 to further their collaborative objectives and mandates, recognizing that there is considerable scope for mutual cooperation in relation to increasing engagement of the global Indian Diaspora among itself and with India, to expand and further facilitate cultural, academic, and socio-economic engagement of the global Indian Diaspora.
IDC was established in 1997, is headquartered in New York, USA, and is a global non-profit, secular, non-political advocacy organization in the service of the Indian Diaspora around the world with optimum inclusivity and with the objective to embrace, engage and enhance the shared heritage, aspirations and interests of persons of Indian origin.
ARSP was established in 1978 as a non-profit, non-governmental and non-political organization. Its headquarters are located at Pravasi Bhavan in New Delhi, India. It has over 2200 members and 19 chapters in different states of India. The aims and objectives of ARSP include promoting International Cooperation, Universal Brotherhood, Goodwill and People-to-People Relationship embodied in its motto ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (The Whole World is One Family).

IDC and ARSP agree as follows:

  • To cooperate to foster a closer networking between and among the Indian diaspora, and with people and organizations in the Indian diaspora and in India, and to expand cultural, academic, and socioeconomic engagement among the Indian diaspora and with India.

  • To facilitate visits of delegations of both organizations and support in the organization of programs, meetings, conferences, etc., as deemed appropriate.

  • To collaborate on future events, creating awareness of issues related to the NRIs and PIOs, by highlighting the inherent bonds of culture and history to encourage more visits, interaction and mutual interests in the fields business, advocacy, entrepreneurship, science and technology, politics and public service, culture, education, philanthropy, and the arts.

  • To facilitate one-to-one interaction between representatives of cultural, academic, and socioeconomic and government in India, and in the regions where, ARSP and/or IDC have presence.

  • To support promotional activities of the organizations, on mutual consent; to link the websites and news broadcast of Parties for wider dissemination of information for the benefit of the Indian Diaspora; to collaborate, support and participate in relevant events and activities of the organizations on mutual consent; to conduct joint studies/ surveys/ events in areas of mutual interest.

  • To disseminate information on cultural, academic, and socio-economic opportunities in India and countries of the Indian Diaspora and elsewhere. Furthermore, the websites of both the organizations will be linked for wider dissemination of information for the benefit of Indian diaspora.
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Ashook Ramsaran appointed Chair of NY Presbyterian Hospital Queens Community Advisory Council

Ashook Ramsaran appointed Chair of NY Presbyterian Hospital Queens Community Advisory Council

Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) president Ashook Ramsaran has been appointed Chair of the Community Advisory Council (CAC) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens (NY-P/Q). The formal announcement was made at CAC’s general membership meeting on May 17, 2017 by Willa Brody, Director of NYP/Q External Affairs and welcomed by Jaclyn Mucaria, President of NYP/Q. Ramsaran served previously as Secretary of the 20-member CAC, with Stan Markowitz as Chair & Fran Zanni as Co-Chair.

New York-Presbyterian Queens, headquartered in Flushing, New York, is a community teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine, serving Queens and metro New York residents. The 535-bed tertiary care facility provides services in 14 clinical departments and numerous sub-specialties. Annually over 15,000 surgeries and 4,000 infant deliveries are performed at NY-P/Q. With its network of affiliated primary and multispecialty care physician practices and community-based health centers, NY-P/Q provides approximately 162,000 ambulatory care visits and 124,000 emergency service visits annually.

The Community Advisory Council (CAC), under the direction and guidance of NY-P/Q’s Office of External Affairs, brings together a diverse and dynamic representation of all segments of the residential, civic and commercial community served by NY-P/Q medical system, to assist NY-P/Q executives, administrators and medical staff, by focusing on and understanding NY-P/Q policies, programs and operations. As such, CAC members are able to assess and report on the impact of same in the communities their respective communities. This is accomplished through approved outreach activities, as well as participation in hospital programs when community engagement is required or desired. The CAC provides a valuable forum for the free-flow interchange of opinions, feedback, information and recommendations to improve NYP/Q’s reputation for outstanding medical care in the Borough of Queens and beyond.

Ramsaran was born in Guyana and is a long time resident of Queens and graduate of Polytechnic Institute of New York; founder/CEO of Ramex, a manufacturing company in College Point; an active community advocate and preservationist, president of Indian Diaspora Council International, vice president, Queens Civic Congress and immediate past president, GOPIO International. Ramsaran is also executive committee member of NY-P/Q Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program; committee member of NY-P/Q Patient & Family Advisory Partnership Committee (PFAP); recording secretary Fresh Meadows Civic Association, board member of Center for Latin America & Caribbean Studies at St John’s University, New York.

Upon accepting the appointment, Ramsaran remarked that he “is honored to serve as Chair of NY-P/Q’s Community Advisory Council and grateful for the confidence of NY-P/Q management and CAC members in my abilities to fulfill the responsibilities, while NY-P/Q is aggressively adapting with proactive expansion of services, programs and facilities to meet patient needs and challenges, noting the rapidly changing New York demographics, in particular the Borough of Queens.”

IDC Discusses Indentureship Centennial with OIA Sec. D. Mulay

IDC Discusses Indentureship Centennial with OIA Sec. D. Mulay

The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) held discussions on the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Abolition of Indian Indentureship with Shri Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Secretary of Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) of the Ministry of External Affairs during a brief stop in New York by Secretary Mulay on November 14, 2016. IDC was represented by its president, Ashook Ramsaran.

March 20, 2017 marks the Centennial of the official abolition of Indian Indenturedship, an era spanning 1834-1917. The history and consequences of Indian Indenturedship are deeply embedded with importance, meaningful history and reflections to millions of descendants living in many countries which were the recipients of Indian Indentured labourers: Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa, Reunion Island, Francophone countries, Malaysia, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana and other countries of the Caribbean; as well as second migration to USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, France, etc.

The discussions centered around OIA’s participation and collaboration with IDC on a series of global events commemorating the centennial and concluding with the Global Indian Diaspora Convention scheduled for 17th – 20th March 2017 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. In addition, IDC discussed a comprehensive profile of OIA and MEA in upcoming publication “Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indenturedship: End of an Era of Indian Migration, New Frontiers and Achievements”.

Photo: IDC president Ashook Ramsaran & OIA Secretary

IDC Mourns the Passing of Philanthropist George Subraj

IDC Mourns the Passing of Philanthropist George Subraj

Mr. George Sobraj

The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) joins in solidarity with organizations, institutions, agencies, and individuals in USA, Guyana and other countries in mourning the passing of renowned businessman and philanthropist George Subraj who passed away on Thursday, November 17, 2016 in New York. We express deepest sympathies and condolences to his surviving spouse Nowatee (Gloria), his children, his siblings, extended family, friends and associates.

Born Febrauary27, 1945 in Guyana and from humble beginnings, he migrated to USA and achieved extraordinary levels of business successes along with his brothers. He was the president of Zara Luxury Apartments and Homes in New York and Florida providing affordable apartments. While building and expanding a very successful business enterprise, George Subraj became an icon among the Indo-Guyanese community in New York and in Guyana for his abiding interest and commitment to support charitable causes in Guyana and USA, including medical equipment, supplies, programs and kidney transplant in Guyana.

George Subraj was recognized for his philanthropy and exemplary contributions to charitable and community causes. He was the recipient of numerous citations, recognition and awards in USA, Guyana and India.

“George Subraj was a humanitarian at heart and an exemplary model to many others” said Ramesh Kalicharran, Vice President of IDC and a close associate of George Subraj. “He was a giving person with a tremendous generosity of heart and humility which will always be remembered”, remarked IDC president Ashook Ramsaran. “His many significant charitable contributions, including Guyana Watch Medical Outreach Team, has earned him high respect and recognition in our community and elsewhere” said IDC Vice President Dr. Tara Singh. “George has earned tremendous respect and admiration for his many contributions to society as prominent philanthropist and entrepreneur”, said Deo Gosine, IDC Coordinator Trinidad & Tobago and VP Economic Empowerment.

MOU between IDC and IAGCC (USA)

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) and Indo-American Global Chamber of Commerce USA (IAGCC-USA)

The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) and Indo-American Global Chamber of Commerce USA (IAGCC-USA) have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 5th November 2016 to further their collaborative objectives and mandates individually and collectively recognize that there is considerable scope for mutual cooperation in relation to increasing business opportunities. With an intention to facilitate the economic engagement of the global Indian Diaspora with India, IDC and IAGCC-USA seek to further promote bilateral Indian Diaspora investments and facilitate business partnerships, establish and enhance investment opportunities while providing advisory services to PIO’s and NRI’s.

IDC and IAGCC-USA agree as follows:

  • To cooperate to foster a closer networking between and among the Indian diaspora, and with people and organizations in the Indian diaspora and in India to expand the economic engagement among the Indian diaspora and with India.
  • To facilitate visits of delegations of both organizations and support in the organization of programs, meetings, conferences etc., as deemed appropriate.
  • To facilitate one-to-one interaction between representatives of business and government in India, and in the regions where, IDC and/or IAGCC-USA have presence.
  • To support promotional activities of the three organizations, on mutual consent.
  • To collaborate, support and participate in relevant events and activities of the three organizations, on mutual consent.
  • To conduct joint studies/ surveys/ events in areas of mutual interest.
  • To disseminate information on economic opportunities in India. Furthermore, the websites of both the organizations will be linked for wider dissemination of information for the benefit of Indian diaspora.

MRIDUL PATHAK APPOINTED IDCs AMBASSADOR, WEST BENGAL

MRIDUL PATHAK APPOINTED IDCs AMBASSADOR, WEST BENGAL

Mr. Mridul Pathak

The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Mridul Pathak as Indian Diaspora Council’s Ambassador, West Bengal.

This appointment takes effect immediately. The term of this appointment is for a period of three (3) years and can be renewed upon request and approval of the Board of Directors of the Indian Diaspora Council. The Indian Diaspora Council’s Ambassador, West Bengal reports directly to the president of Indian Diaspora Council.

The portfolio of IDC’s Ambassador, West Bengal shall include: Engagement on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) who are originally from West Bengal or having ancestral roots in West Bengal; liaison with State Government of West Bengal on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council for on-going and planned projects, events and programs in globally and in West Bengal; promote and advance the interest of Indian Diaspora Council in the State of West Bengal, other states in India, the Central Government of India and in other countries where IDC has presence: Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa, Reunion Island, Francophone countries, Malaysia, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and other countries of the Caribbean; as well as second migration of descendants to such places as USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, France, among other countries. We expect that this portfolio of responsibilities to be enlarged to include other areas in the latter half of 2017 as Indian Diaspora Council enhances its outreach, programs and projects.

Indian Diaspora Council recognizes that, while migration from West Bengal continues at an increasing rate, a significant number of Indian indentured laborers came from West Bengal and their descendants have traced their roots to West Bengal. IDC also recognizes that over 90% of all Indian indenture labourers were processed and housed in Kolkata before embarking to the former British colonies. The Kolkata Memorial was inaugurated January 11, 2011 in recognition of those who left India as indenture labourers during the period 1834 – 1920. March 20, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the official abolition of Indian Indentureship, an era spanning 1834-1917. The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC), in collaboration with several organizations and institutions in various countries, is coordinating a series of high profile global events to mark the centennial of abolition of Indian.

Mr. Pathak’s career began with Government of India civil service (‘66); posted Nigeria (‘73-‘93), promoted to top civil post; Co-Chairman of Indo-American Global Chamber of Commerce (IAGCC) and Conservator of Forests W.P.O. Bhopal M.P. Crisis Management in Critical Tiger Habitat Bandhavgarh; Founded International Foundation for Sustainable Development (IFSD) in 1997 Kolkata and remains a trustee of IFSD; President of Indian Cultural Assoc. Nigeria 83-93; Founder Trustee Indian School and International School ,Port Harcourt, Nigeria 1986; Chairman, Cricket Association, Rivers State, Nigeria; Member Royal Commonwealth Society, London since 1990; Life member, Cultural Association of Bengal, New York and KALLOL, New Jersey; Vice Chairman, North American Bengali Conference (NABC), New York 2005 and Advisor,NABCsince2000 ;Life Member of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) since2001; formerly GOPIO director of diaspora development; other primarily consultancy or philanthropy to practice sustainable development; semi-retired “philanthro-preneur”.

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MARLAN PADAYACHEE APPOINTED IDC’s MEDIA COORDINATOR, AFRICA

MARLAN PADAYACHEE APPOINTED IDC’s MEDIA COORDINATOR, AFRICA

Mr. Marlan Padayachee

The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Marlan Padayachee as Indian Diaspora Council’s Media Coordinator, Africa..

This appointment takes effect immediately. The term of this appointment is for a period of three (3) years and can be renewed upon request and approval of the Board of Directors of the Indian Diaspora Council. The Indian Diaspora Council’s Media Coordinator, Africa reports to the Vice President, Digital Media & Next Gen Outreach.

The portfolio of IDC’s Media Coordinator, Africa shall include: Active promotion and publicity on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council, its activities and its programs in all media in Africa, including but not limited to print, television and radio broadcast, internet and social media.

Indian Diaspora Council recognizes that a significant number of Indian indentured labourers came to Africa, in particular South Africa, during the Indian Indentureship period. South Africa is home for one of the largest populations of persons of Indian origin numbering over 1.5 million. March 20, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the official abolition of Indian Indentureship, an era spanning 1834-1917. The history and consequences of Indian Indenturedship are deeply embedded with importance, meaningful history and reflections to millions of descendants living in many countries which were the recipients of Indian Indentured labourers. The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC), in collaboration with several organizations and institutions in various countries, is coordinating a series of high profile global events to mark the centennial of abolition of Indian Indenturedship. The global convention will be held in March 2017 while there will be a series of global events leading up to that March 2017 convention.

Marlan Padayachee is an accomplished and widely travelled award-winning journalist, photojournalist, media strategist and author in South Africa, having worked at the frontline of a racially-divided and unequal society under tough censorship laws and reporting restrictions in the apartheid state to covering the journey from the liberation and anti-apartheid movements to democracy and the new social order in major newspapers, radio, TV and publications since 1994, and continues to write commentary and opinion-editorial articles on local and global issues, while also focusing on the Indian diaspora and South Africa’s relations with its traditional allies, India and Mauritius

As a multifaceted senior practitioner in journalism, media liaison, speechwriting, protocol and editing, printing and publishing, and also specializsing in straddling his expertise and centre of influence in the government-private sector, including foreign diplomatic missions, Marlan Padayachee’s work has earned him the following awards: British Council Fellow (1988-89), United States Information Services Fellow (1995), Gopio International (2015, Life Member).

Current Positions: International Federation of Journalists (Brussels); Ambassador, City University London (City University-University of London); Board member/spokesman: RK Khan Hospital (Chatsworth, South Africa); Media liaison: 2016 Gopio International Europe Convention (Paris); Media strategist: Minara Chamber of Commerce 2016 Recognition Awards & Gala Banquet (Durban); Media and communications coordinator: 2017 Gopio International Business Conference, South Africa

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