Indian Diaspora Council

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

Passing of Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General

Passing of Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General

Kofi Atta Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General, passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2018 in Bern, Switzerland at the age of 80 years. Born on April 18, 1938 in Ghana, Mr. Annan, a soft-spoken and patrician diplomat, projected himself and his organization as the world’s conscience and moral arbiter despite bloody debacles that left indelible stains on his record as a peacekeeper.

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”

“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”

Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, from January 1997 to December 2006. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. Anna was the first UN secretary General of African origin He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.

Born in Kumasi, in then British Gold Coast, Annan went on to study economics at Macalester College, international relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and management at MIT. Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s Geneva office. He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996. He was appointed as the Secretary-General on 13 December 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself. He was re-elected for a second term in 2001, and was succeeded as Secretary-General by Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2007.

“As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy; worked to combat HIV, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact. He was criticized for not expanding the Security Council and faced calls for resignation after an investigation into the Oil-for-Food Programme, but was largely exonerated of personal corruption.[4] After the end of his term as UN Secretary-General, he founded the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development. In 2012, Annan was the UN–Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there. Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution. In September 2016, Annan was appointed to lead a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis” Wikipedia.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots” – Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.

“Kofi Annan lived well and worked for global peace, security and sustainable development in very challenging times. A proud son of Ghana and Africa” – Former Ghana Pres. John Dramani Mahama.

“He embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others. He has had broken barriers and he never stopped his pursuit of a better world. His sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations.” – Former U.S. president Barack Obama.

“The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security” – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“An inspiration, an unwavering internationalist. He will be remembered for, among other accomplishments, the Millennium Development Goals, which, for the first time, set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality.” – Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“He devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful place and worked tirelessly to unite us” – United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

“He inspired me and many others with his ideas, his firm convictions and, not least, his charisma. In our present time, in which the common search for solutions to global problems is more urgent than ever, we will greatly miss Kofi Annan’s voice – German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Mourn the passing of my old friend and inspiration. The greatest recognition we can give Kofi Annan is to keep his legacy and his spirit alive. It has never been more important than in today’s world” – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

“We will never forget his calm and resolute look, nor his strength in battles” – France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

“He made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into” – Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May.

“His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness. The U.N. and the world have lost one of their giants” – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“He was a titan amongst world statesman who saw wrong and righted it” – Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

“We are devastated. Africa and the world has lost a special human being – Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“An unexpected and devastating loss. We give great thanks to god for him” – Former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“He gave hope to the voiceless; my friend, my hero, my inspiration” – Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed, the U.N. deputy secretary-general.

“I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage as well as his ability to make balanced decisions even under the most dire and critical circumstances. Russians will keep the memory of him forever” – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“A towering global leader and an unwavering champion for peace, justice and rule of law. Rest in peace, my dear old friend” – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss, becomes even more painful” – Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, U.N.’s top human rights official.

“He was warm, compassionate & intelligent, exuding dignity and grace” – Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty Int’l.

“International leader, wise mentor, valuable adviser, good friend, role model. We at UNHCR — and millions of others around the world — will miss him very much” – U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi.

“His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa”- the Elder’s deputy chair Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Support for Relief Efforts for Victims of Floods in Kerala, India

Support for Relief Efforts for Victims of Floods in Kerala, India

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) and its global affiliates join with other associations and organizations in expressing our concern and urging support for the people of Kerala (India) affected by the recent devastating floods which that have caused numerous deaths, displacement, suffering, pain and anguish. Several local and international news reports have compared this flooding as the worst in Kerala in a century.

Widespread downpours are forecast for the next 24 hours in the region, although rainfall intensity has declined over the past two days, according to a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department. Kerala’s monsoon showers this year have been 41 percent more than normal, contrasting with nationwide rainfall, which is 8 percent below average, the India Meteorological Department said.

IDC commends the efforts being made by the State of Kerala and the Government of India to bring needed desperately relief to the affected citizens to alleviate the difficulties being experienced and for the well-being of its citizens. We urge other countries, as well as local, regional and international relief agencies, individuals, organizations, associations to respond urgently to this disaster and provide needed relief and contributions in a timely manner.

Photos: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45232327

Expressing grief over the unfortunate deaths and damage caused to property due to floods, India’s Prime Minister, Hon. Narendra Modi, observed that rescue of people who are still marooned remains the topmost priority.

“Lot of people are still marooned,” said P. H. Kurian, relief commissioner of Kerala, said, adding thousands were rescued on Saturday. “We will increase the relief efforts”, he said.

IDC urges relief contributions online and desperately needed clothing, materials and non-perishable food by contacting the nearest Indian High Commission or Indian Consulate, or via bona fide international relief agencies such as International Red Cross.

IDC Supports More Specialized High School Seats in New York City

IDC Supports More Specialized High School Seats in New York City

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) endorses more specialized high school seats in New York City by participating in a community rally held on June 24, 2018 at the steps of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, New York. The rally brought together several community organizations and advocates in support of the keeping Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and creating more specialized high school seats in New York City. The rally was organized by the Diversity and Achievement (DNA) Coalition, spearheaded by John Albert of “Taking Our Seat”. Contact: albert@takingourseat.org.

Statement by the Diversity and Achievement (DNA) Coalition:
“The most straightforward solution: create more schools that have a rigorous curriculum that all children have the opportunity to access. We can all agree that the school system is leaving many kids behind. Talented kids of all backgrounds should have access to a top-notch education”.

“Queens Stands to Lose the Most under NYC Mayor’s Plan:
Phase 1 of the Mayor’s plan will set aside extra help for admission to those students who come from schools with high rates of poverty. Queens neighborhoods are on average richer than Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan neighborhoods. but not by much. That means Queens kids won’t compete on a level ground in Phase 1 of the Mayor’s Plan. The solution: more seats”.
Phase 2 of NYC Mayor’s plan eliminates the SHSAT altogether and sets aside seats to the “top” students in each middle school. Fewer Queens students will earn entry into these schools, those few who are eligible will be forced to travel long distances. There are fewer specialized high school seats in Queens than in the other boroughs (except for Staten Island). The solution: more seats – in Queens”

The program was moderated by Miguel Herrera. Speakers included: NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim; NYS Assemblyman David Weprin; David Lee (Chinese American Citizens Alliance); Tahseen Chowdhry (Stuyvesant HS graduate); Wah Wah Chin (Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York); Mazeda Uddin (SAFE); Kenneth Chiu (Coalition of Asian American Civil Rights); Ashook Ramsaran (Indian Diaspora Council International); Rokeya Akhter (New American Voter Association); Darrell Sukdeo (Indo-Caribbean Advocate); several other community advocates. and students of SUNY and other schools.

Remarks by Ashook Ramsaran, President of Indian Diaspora Council International: “New York City is the greatest city with most opportunities in education. There are opportunities for excellence in education which go hand-in-hand with excellence in education. The goal is to encourage and reward excellence in education, not to discourage high achievers. More specialized schools are better for encouraging more students to achieve higher levels of performance. Everyone benefits because all students strive for higher achievements. All parents in Queens and all of New York City should be more involved. Our kid’s education matters. Our voices are important in this struggle for progress in education by being partners for excellence in education. IDC supports more seats in specialized schools and keeping the SHSAT tests”.

Photos - community rally held on June 24, 2018

(l-r) Miguel Herrera, Phil Wong, John Albert, Ashook Ramsaran, Wah Wah Chin

“Kali” Way Street Co-Naming Approved by Community Board

"Kali” Way Street Co-Naming Approved by Community Board

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased to announce that the initiative by IDC president Ashook Ramsaran co-naming 1 block of 169th Street between Highland Avenue and Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, New York, in honor of the late Ramesh D. Kalicharran, affectionately known as “Kali”, has been approved at a public hearing of Community Board #8 on June 20, 2018. Ramesh D. Kalicharran, who was born 1949 in Guyana and lived in New York since 1970, passed away on December 3, 2017.

IDC statement on its application for co-naming 1 block of 169th Street: “Ramesh Kalicharran, popularly known as Kali, was an outstanding community stalwart, a prominent and well recognized cornerstone of the community, having pioneered several programs and events which promoted the interests of Indo-Caribbean people in New York and the Caribbean. He is widely recognized for his advocacy, philanthropy and exemplary contributions to charitable and community causes; for his exemplary contributions to his community and the promotion of Indian culture and heritage. He was an icon among Indo-Caribbean people with a long lasting legacy of selfless service. He was an extraordinary community leader who led by example. In recognition of his tremendous contribution to the Guyana diaspora, he has received several citations and awards Asian-Indian, the Indo-Caribbean, and Other Ethnic American communities in New York. Kali was a proud ambassador for Guyana in particular, and the Caribbean, in general”.

The initiative and continuing efforts for co-naming the 1 block of 1269th Street by Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) was led by Ashook Ramsaran who worked diligently and collaboratively in obtaining approval of NYC Council Member Rory Lancman on January 9, 2018 followed by several other elected officials, including NYS Assembly Member David Weprin who issued a posthumous proclamation in honor of “Kali”. Crucial organizational support was given on January 14, 2018 by Mid-Queens Community Council (MQCC) followed by formal application to Queens Comm. Board #8 (CB#8) on January 17, 2018.

Following a formal presentation to CB#8 Transportation Committee by Ashook Ramsaran on April 26, 2018 attended by Ms. Romanee Kalicharran (daughter of late Ramesh Kalicharran) and Mr. Santram Dukhbhanjan, the CB#8 Transportation Committee gave its unanimous approval. Following the presentation by family, community leaders and associates at the public hearing on May 14, 2018, CB#8 Transportation Committee gave its further approval paving the way for the general meeting on June 20, 2018 at which passage of the application was approved by a vote of 24 to 7 in favour.

Speakers in support of the application at the public hearing on June 20, 2018 were: Romanee Kalicharran (daughter) accompanied by Judith Kalicharran (spouse); Rev. Seopaul Singh (Caribbean Network Enterprises); Anoop Dhanpat (Trinidadians & Tobagians in USA); Harbachan Singh (Queens Civic Congress; Ashook Ramsaran (Indian Diaspora Council). Other family members and supporters attended.

Following the step-by-step progress and successes to date and with no opposition, the application is expected to be fully approved with an estimated installation and unveiling before the end of 2018.

“Kali” Family & IDC Members at the June 20, 2018 Public Hearing

Ashook Ramsaran Awards Outstanding Students at PS90 Queens 2018

Ashook Ramsaran Awards Outstanding Students at PS90 Queens 2018

Continuing his 14-year partnership with PS90 Queens Horace Mann School in New York, Ashook Ramsaran presented awards and certificates of merit to 6 outstanding and deserving high achievers selected from the 5th grade graduating class of 2018. The “Stepping Up” ceremony was held on June 19, 2018 at Richmond Hill High School in Queens, New York.

In addition to the financial awards, each of the 6 students received a Ramex certificate of outstanding achievement. Ramex is a manufacturing company in Queens, New York founded by Ramsaran who is also the president of Indian Diaspora Council International, Vice President of Queens Civic Congress and Chair of New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital Community Advisory Council.

“The PS90Q “Stepping Up” ceremony is always an exciting event for me as I witness the happy faces of you, the graduating students and your proud parents, as well as principal and staff who are committed to the wellbeing and success of the students. I urge all of you students to be steadfast in pursuing education for a bright future ahead”, said Ramsaran in his remarks to PS90Q graduating class of 2018.

Ramsaran serves as Principal-for-the-Day (PDAF) for the past 14 years at PS90Q located at 86-50 109th Street and has established a continuing partnership with the school which has an enrollment of 830 catering to Grades 1-5, Pre-K and Special Ed, and with a significant percentage of students of South Asian and Caribbean origin.

6 High Achievers Students with PS90Q Principal Adrienne Ubertini (2nd from left) and, Ashook Ramsaran (far right)