The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased 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”, is advancing successfully through the several stages of the process. 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 by the full Community Board is likely.
Speakers in support of the application at the public hearing on May 14, 2018 were: Romanee Kalicharran (daughter) accompanied by Judith Kalicharran (spouse); Shobna Tomescu (sister) accompanied by Rayjendra Kalicharan (brother); Jagdish Kalicharran (son); Farouk Samaroo (community advocate); Patricia Jordan-Langford (Guyana Tri-State Alliance); Santram Dukhbhanjan (Indo-Caribbean Council); Rev. Seopaul Singh (Caribbean Network Enterprises); Jeff Gottleib (Mid-Queens Community Council); Ashook Ramsaran (Indian Diaspora Council).
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.