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 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.
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.