News


2019-05-27

Ashook Ramsaran’s Speech - Unveiling of Street Sign Co-naming 1 blk of 169th St on May 25, 2019

Ashook Ramsaran’s Speech
Unveiling of Street Sign Co-naming 1 block of 169th St on May 25, 2019 In Honor of late Ramesh D. Kalicharran

Good morning, salutations and greetings – to Judith, Romanee, Jagdesh and the entire Kalicharran family.
Consul Generals of Indian and Guyana; Hon. Council Member Rory Lancman; other officials, friends, and everyone in attendance here today. Thanks to Romanee and her helpers to organize this outstanding event to mark a historic event.
Firstly: On Monday we commemorate Memorial Day in the USA and I request that we all take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those who secure and preserve our freedom, and make it possible for us to be doing what we are doing here today – here or at your own convenience.
In addition to the numerous plaques, praises and poojas, here today is a permanent marker to honor the life and legacy of Ramesh Kalicharran - husband, father, brother, friend, advisor and mentor – a community icon and well known cultural advocate and unwavering supporter.
This is an historic moment – a street co-named for KALI. This is a public acknowledgement and recognition

Our brother and friend did not ask for this - But we all know that it is well deserved.
And I am enormously honored to be part of it.
It began on a sad day at the wake on December 4, 2017.
With short notice, I encouraged and assisted AM Weprin to produce a NYS posthumous proclamation which he presented to Judith at the wake on December 4, 2017.
I followed with my remarks -- and I realized right at that moment that I had to do something significant to honor my fiend and brother Ramesh Kalicharran. I could not let that moment pass without making a bold, unprecedented commitment - to co-name 169th Street as “Kali Way”. It was the right thing to do and the right moment to do so.

Overwhelming applause welcomed my announcement.

Lots of guidance, advice and encouragement by those who know. I could not have done it without them. The process was long - filing the application, justification, my presentations to several organizations for their support, many letters of support, hearings at Borough Hall, Hillcrest Jewish Center and C/Board #8. Not all was smooth – some administrative delay. But the application had merit and enormous support. The bill was passed by NY City Council into law – December 2018. Yes, it was a successful effort as we are witnessing here today.
Thanks to all who helped, encouraged, advised, mentored and guided the effort throughout the long process:
First and foremost – Judith for her consent to the application from the inception; to Romanee and Jagdesh and other members of the family for their support and encouragement.

NYC Council Member Rory Lancman and his staff – Massis, Henry and others

NYS Assembly Member David Weprin and his staff – Anthony, Muhammed, Sumeet, Janna and others

Marie Adam-Ovide - District Manager Community Board #8

CB#8 and its Transportation Committee – Martha Taylor, Kevin Forrestal, Mark Haden, Harbachan Singh, Dilip Nath and others

Jeff Gottlieb – Mid Queens Community Council

Abe Fuchs - Mid Queens Community Council

Kevin Forrestal, Jim Gallagher – Queens Civic Congress

My colleagues at Indian Diaspora Council – Santram Dukhbhanjan, Peter Persaud and Jhairam Persaud, Dr. Sharla Khargi, Vidur Dindyal (UK) and others

Prof. Roopnarain Persaud & Rev Seopaul Singh - Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council

Patricia Jordan-Langford – Guyana Tri-State Alliance

Dilip Nath- New American Voter Association

Mohammed Hack - Interfaith Council Comm. Development

Dr Dhanpaul Narine - Shri Trimurti Bhavan

Richie Lipkowitz - Indian Jewish Council

Vishnu Mahadeo – Richmond Hill Economic Development

Richard David, Taj Rajkumar – District Leaders

Farouk Khan – Community and Political Advocate

Anoop Dhanpat – Trinidadians & Tobagans USA

Francis Persaud – Canada

The West Indian, Indo-Caribbean World – and others

And importantly – the late Dharmacharya Pandit Ramlall.

And many others whose names I may have missed.

Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement.

ADDED NOTE

Following the success of Kali Way, I was encouraged by Pat Langford to lead the effort to co-name 1 block of 144th Street bet 85th Road and 86th Ave as Dharmacharya Pandit Ramlall Way - the street where the Arya Spiritual Center is located.

The request has been submitted to CM Lancman and CB#8.

I am sure Kali would want that too and he would be proud of it – Well deserving NEIGHBORS 169th & 144th Streets.

ADDITIONALLY

Indian Diaspora Council is working with UNESCO and other entities to establish a Caribbean Heritage Museum in New York. The remarkable histories of both Kali and Pandit Ramlall would belong in that museum.

Finally,

To Judith, Romanee, Jagdesh and the Kali family – Thank you for sharing this moment and best wishes.





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2019-05-15

WEST INDIAN - NYC Street Co-named in honor of PIO, late Ramesh Kalicharran

WEST INDIAN - NYC Street Co-named in honor of PIO, late Ramesh Kalicharran


2019-05-15

NYC Street Co-named in Honor of PIO, the late Ramesh Kalicharran

NYC Street Co-named in Honor of PIO, the late Ramesh Kalicharran


2019-05-06

Navita Yadav recognised as India’s Top 100 Women in Finance

Navita Yadav recognised as India’s Top 100 Women in Finance

Navita Yadav, Global Lead, Capital Markets and Country Managing Director, India, has been awarded ‘India’s Top 100 "Women in Finance"’ in the Leading Category by The Association of International Wealth Management of India (AIWMI).

India’s Top 100 Women in Finance is an accolade designed to identify the most successful and respected women in the areas of the profession. The awards recognises women who are talented, resilient and ethical in finance. The impressive credentials of the women on this list place them among some of the most influential executives and entrepreneurs in the country. Despite barriers to entry, they have been identified to continue to use their leadership prowess to manage the bottom line and also to shape the direction of future generations of business leaders.

Navita is responsible for developing and executing Vistra’s Capital Markets strategy globally including organic growth, expansion into new markets, development of new products and operational capabilities in international markets. Over the last two decades, she has consistently driven revenue growth and profitability of Capital Markets and Financial services businesses in Asia. Under her leadership, assets under administration grew from USD 40 billion to over USD 125 billion while preserving a dominant market share in all Capital Market business segments.

The Association of International Wealth Management (AIWM) is the professional association for wealth managers around the world. It is dedicated to promoting and strengthening global education in private banking and wealth management.

Navita Yadav recognised as India’s Top 100 Women in Finance

Contact:
Navita Yadav
Global Head of Capital Markets, Vistra
and Managing Director & CEO , Vistra ITCL India


2019-01-27

Passing of Dharmacharya Ramlall, freedom fighter, scholar, community/religious icon

PRESS RELEASE

Passing of Dharmacharya Ramlall, freedom fighter, scholar, community/religious icon

Dharmacharya Ramlall, well known freedom fighter, scholar, community and religious icon, passed away in New York City on Friday, January 26, 2019. Born on February 28, 1928 in Guyana (then British Guiana), he immigrated to USA in 1979. A life of learning and teaching, humility and respect.

“Ramlall is a well-known Vedic scholar and founder of the Arya Spiritual Center in New York. He is a well-loved doyen among Guyanese religious and political leaders, a legend as one of the most influential leaders of the Hindu faith of Guyanese heritage.

“From an early age, he had a passion for learning all about Hindu religion and culture, and with equal verve, fighting to better the lot of fellow Guyanese. These have forged in this humble and affectionate Guyanese, commitment, vigor, and boundless energy to be a fearless leader in the fight for freedom from injustice under colonial rule in British Guiana, and a learned exponent of Hindu Vedic thought, an accomplished scholar of Sanskrit and Hindi” Biography of Pandit Ramlall by K. Persaud. August 27, 2008. www.indocaribbeanworld.com/archives/march 19.2008/community.

Indian Diaspora Council JOURNAL - PIO of the Month September 2017
Born February 28, 1928 in Guyana, immigrated to USA in 1979 Founder, Arya Spiritual Center; Pioneer of NYC annual Phagwah Parade Interfaith spiritual advisor across Canada and USA Orphaned at age 6 and taught himself Hindi Hard laborer by age 9 and sugar chemist by age 19 Imprisoned as freedom fighter for Guyana’s independence Formal education and civil service union representative in New York International awards, incl Bharat Gaurav award (joining Mother Teresa) March 23, 2003 declared “Pandit Ramlall Day” in New York

“Pandit Ramlall’s commitment to his passion for learning and sharing his knowledge of Vedic philosophy and culture, combined with his scholarly accomplishments in the Hindi and Sanskrit languages, propelled him on to more significant roles on the world stage in the United States, in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and India.

“He has gained international recognition for his missionary work. He regularly travelled to Surinam, Guyana, Netherlands, Europe, the United States, Canada, and India, where he lectures on Hinduism. He is a motivational speaker, a spiritual guide, and religious counselor. He has authored many books, and articles on Hinduism.

“In January 1975, in the presence of Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, and Dr. Sewsagar Ramgulam, Prime Minister of Mauritius, at the First Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (1st World Hindi Conference) in Nagpur, India, Ramlall was presented with the prestigious literary award”.


2019-01-19

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.














2019-01-17

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


2018-12-22

IDRF Canada Recognizes Ken Singh’s Humanitarian Efforts

IDRF Recognizes Canadian PIO Entrepreneur 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)


2018-11-01

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.


2018-10-29

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...


2018-10-21

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 D.r Sara Singh


The Counsel General of Guyana Ms Anyin Choo and Dr Narendra Singh.


2018-10-18

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

Click to download


2018-10-18

GOPIO to Honor Ashook Ramsaran

GOPIO to Honor 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.


2018-10-13

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


Chief Minister 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


2018-10-05

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


2018-08-27

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.


2018-08-21

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.

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.


2018-06-26

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








2018-06-21

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


2018-06-20

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)


2018-05-30

Commemoration of Indian Arrival Day 2018 in St. Vincent & Grenadines

30th May, 2018 (EST-USA)

Hon. Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves
Prime Minister
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Kingston, St. Vincent

Re: Commemoration of Indian Arrival Day 2018 in St Vincent & Grenadines

Your Excellency:

The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) joins with its global affiliates and membership in paying honored tribute and express its gratitude to those who made the first journey as indentured laborers from India arriving in St. Vincent on 1st June, 1861 aboard the Travancore. We acknowledge with gratitude and pride the recognition and declaration of June 1 as Indian Arrival Day by the Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

We are always reminded of their pioneering spirit, determination, persistence and endurance under extremely harsh conditions. While survival must have been the primary concern, they strived and persevered to maintain their sense of origin, traditions and culture. Their children, grandchildren and following generations will always take pride in this unique accomplishment, recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices and achievements made on their behalf. We also recognize the invaluable contributions, despite the comparatively small numbers, they have made to the diverse culture and economic development of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

We pay homage and commemorate an historic event which took place 157 years ago and recognize the journeys, hardships, travails and perseverance of a people – while looking at today and tomorrow which can take lessons from that history of journeys not so long ago. While acknowledging that past, we can triumph by taking bold steps same as those who came to St. Vincent & the Grenadines and other lands with just a promise, with lots of hope and determination. They came to St. Vincent & the Grenadines partially by choice, many forced but resolved and persevered under very difficult and harrowing conditions. That shared experience, that saga of shared history, fostered a unique kindred spirit of resolve, togetherness and kinship – a triumph over obstacles and difficulties with dreams and aspirations of a destiny intertwined by history and fate”.

We extend Indian Diaspora Council’s congratulations to the Government and people of St. Vincent & the Grenadines on the commemoration of this 157th anniversary of that historic day. We also extend our continued best wishes to all the descendants of those early pioneers for peaceful and prosperous co-existence both in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and other lands where they have subsequently settled.

We continue to encourage and support active promotion of the rich and enduring Indian traditions which served their forefathers so well.We also wish to remind all the descendants of those early pioneers to recognize and reach out to others of Indian origin whose forebears also embarked on similar journeys.

Respectfully,

Ashook R Indian Diaspora Council International
AshookRamsaran@gmail.com
Mobile (USA) +1 917 519 5783


cc: Dr. Arnold Thomas, Indian Diaspora Council Country Coordinator, St. Vincent & the Grenadines


2018-05-23

Hon. Anupriya Singh Patel, India’s Min. of State for Health & Family Welfare Visits Grenada

The visit of the Hon. Mrs. Anupriya Singh Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India to Grenada, marks a historic moment in the relationship of the two countries. It was the first time that a Minister of the Government of India made an official visit to the country, opening opportunities for increased bilateral cooperation and mutual advancement.

The Hon. Minister Patel was warmly welcomed to Grenada upon her arrival at Maurice Bishop International Airport on Saturday, May 12th, 2018 by a delegation which included the Hon. Minister Nickolas Steele, Permanent Secretary, Pauline Peters from the Ministry of Health, and the Honorary Consul of India to Grenada, Shadel Nyack Compton.


2018-05-18

“Kali” Way Street Co-Naming Advances Successfully

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.

Members of Community Board #8 transportation Committee, Speakers and Supporters Front row seated (l-r) Romanee Kalicharran; Judith Kalicharran; Sobna Tomescu; Basmat Kalicharran; Marie Adam-Ovide (District Manager, Community Board #8)


2018-05-18

ASHOOK RAMSARAN HONORED by CENTER for WOMEN of NEW YORK

Ashook Ramsaran, president of Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) was honored by the Center for Women of New York (CWNY) with the “GOOD GUYS” award at the CWNY’s 31st Anniversary Annual Luncheon on Saturday, April 21, 2018 honoring “Trailblazers for Women’s Rights”. The recognition event was held at the Douglaston Manor and Golf Club in New York, USA. The awards were presented by Ann Jawin, founder/chair of CWNY and Victoria Pilotti, president of CWNY.

Founded in 1987 by Ann Jawin, the Center for Women of New York’s mission is “to empower women with the information, support and skills they need to address the problems they are facing whether economic, emotional or legal. Our assistance not only helps the woman but strengthens the stability of their family. CWNY helps women transition to a new level of economic self-sufficiency. CWNY offers comprehensive services in prevention, training, education and support to women in transition. Computer training, career counseling, legal assistance and support groups are held to support women and prepare them to prosper in the workforce”.

Ashook Ramsaran was born in Guyana (formerly British Guiana), third generation of Indian indentured laborers who were brought to Guyana in 1853 and 1860 respectively. He emigrated to USA in 1968 and obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees (Electrical Engineering) at New York Polytechnic University. After prominent positions in US industry, he founded Ramex, an electronics manufacturing company based in New York, USA and resides in Queens, New York, USA with his family, namely wife Camille; sons Arnold and Gerald, and grandsons Jaden and Gavin. Ramsaran is founder/president of the Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) and former president of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International). He is Vice President of Queens Civic Congress (New York), Chair of New York Presbyterian Hospital Queens Community Advisory Council, Board Member of St John’s University Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies, and Board Member of Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association. He is the recipient of numerous local and international awards in recognition for his many years of outstanding community service and raising awareness of critical issues of interest and concern.

Recipients of “Women of Distinction” in Leadership were: Adrienne Adams (NYC Council Member District #28); Bernadette Kelly (President, Teamsters Union, Local 813); Moira McDermott (Executive Director, 21-in-21 Initiative); Sarinya Srisakul (President, United Women’s Firefighters); Mary Vaccarro (United Federation of teachers, Queens District).

Recipients of “Good Guys” awards were: Mervin Brown (Artist, retired professor, City University of New York); Rory Lancman (NYC Council Member District #28); Ashook Ramsaran (President of Indian Diaspora Council International); Ernan Roman (President, ERDM Corp, Chair, “Take Action” Community Group); Jimmy Van Bramer (NYC Council Member District #26).

Recognition text on the award to Ashook Ramsaran read as follows: The “Good Guys” awards are given “to men who are fully committed to women’s equal rights and have made significant contributions to the community”.

In accepting the “Good Guys” award, Ramsaran said “Women’s rights are people’s rights; women’s rights are our rights; women’s rights are human rights. I am truly honored by this recognition award and I join with other recipients in thanking CWNY and Ann Jawin for their pioneering contributions to women’s rights in New York as a trailblazer long before #Me Too and TIME’S UP.

Victoria Pilotti, Ann Jawin, Ashook Ramsaran

Women of Distinction and Good Guys Recipients with Victoria Pilotti and Ann Jawin


2018-05-07

180th Anniversary of Indian Arrival Day in Guyana - May 5, 2018

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2018-05-01

IDC in SOLIDARITY with MUSLIM WOMEN’S COUNCIL of MAURITIUS

Ms. Kritilata Ram, the Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) coordinator in Mauritius, joined the Muslim Ladies Council in a Press Conference on April 24, 2018 in Port Louis to protest against the injustice being caused by the management of a hotel in Mauritius, interdicting the Hindu women to wear their tika at their place of work. The President of the Muslim Ladies Council also talked about the wearing of hijaab at the place of work.

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2018-03-06

Observance of International Women’s Day 2018

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC), in collaboration with its global membership and affiliates, is pleased to join with other organizations, associations, agencies, groups and individuals in observance of the 43rd anniversary of United Nations declared International Women’s Day in 2018.

The seeds were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. The idea to make the day international came from Clara Zetkin who suggested the idea of International Women’s Day in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed unanimously. It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The centenary was celebrated in 2011, so this year we’re technically celebrating the 108th International Women’s Day. It became official in 1975 when the United Nations (UN) started celebrating the day and setting an annual theme.

This year’s theme is #PressforProgress. UN figures show that only half of working age women are represented in the labour force globally. International Women’s Day has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics, while the political roots of the day mean strikes and protests are organized to raise awareness of continued inequality.

“Today’s woman need to be better educated, be assertive and to be able to provide the best that we can for ourselves and our families. Effectively, woman should be treated as equals at home, the work place and in society as a whole and all year round and not just one day of year on International Women’s Day. We should be treated with respect and dignity without suffering abuse of any kind. Women are the backbone of our country and they are phenomenal human beings. The amazing woman is making our society a better place and making strides in our community despite their difficulties” - Rita Abraham, Chair of IDC’s Women’s Forum.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, may we all be reminded that our collective movement toward gender parity should be stronger than ever. We cannot afford to be complacent with the progress we already have. We are still far from total gender equality particularly in less developed countries. Our voices should never wane nor soften until we are heard loud and clear. Gender parity isn’t only for those of us struggling to find our place today but for also the young women who are looking to us for direction and hope. We need to be united on all fronts so that we may hand over a future that is grounded on fairness and equality—a future that not only sees beyond gender limitations but also eliminates them. Together we Press For Progress!” - Shadel Nyack Compton, IDC Coordinator (Grenada); Managing Dir., Belmont Estate Group of Companies St. Patrick, Grenada, West Indies.

“In celebrating women’s achievements from the right to vote, to own property and many other rights, there is a need to continue to commemorate the struggle for equality and the demand for social and political rights. While the voice of women is important in her expression of the unpopular, the voice of men must also be heard in their support for a woman’s many roles in all aspects of society. Thus, this will recognize that, although women have progressed in many aspects of life, she continues to struggle and deal with harassment and bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and marginalization” - Janet Naidu, Poet and Writer, Canada.

“Women are mothers, sisters, daughters and most of all, they are leaders. They multi task whenever necessary to fulfill these roles in addition to the demands of society. Women take pride in all that they are presented with and accept responsibility without hesitation as they embrace being pillars of our society. They embody resilience, autonomy, confidence yet they are unafraid to be shy or vulnerable. On this day, let’s honor and celebrate the strength of women who have paved the way for growth, motivation and empowerment of others as well as their bold ability to effect social change” – Sharla Khari, PhD, Director, IDC Community Based Rehabilitation.

“A lot of progress have been achieved by women all over the world through determined advocacy, practical action and enlightened policy making, yet women are still treated like second-class citizens and are still fighting against dehumanization and are widely marginalized within the corridor of power. We can still witness the abuse of girl child, raping minor girls and women, sexual harassment in places of work, domestic violence, battered women, facing injustice, stereotyping of women, rise in divorce rate, living in the cycle of poverty, and facing many diseases. Mostly we have seen women are largely underrepresented at most levels of government and have made little progress in attaining political power in legislative bodies. Although women make up at least half of the electorate in almost all countries and have attained right to vote, women still continue to be seriously underrepresented as candidates for legislative and local government elections because the traditional working patterns of many political parties and government structures continue to be barriers to women’s participation in public life. These issues have to be given urgent consideration by giving empowerment and autonomy to women thus leading to the improvement of women’s social, economic, and political status. Without the active participation of women and the incorporation of women’s perspectives at all levels, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved” – Kritilata Ram, IDC Coordinator, Mauritius.

“We pay homage to all women who struggled for their rights and equitable treatment, and persevered under very harsh conditions and obstacles to achieve respect and dignity. Women have made significant advances in almost all segments of society yet there remain many hurdles to overcome and many obstacles to be removed for women to advance and achieve full potential and bring about equity at all levels. Women account for more than 50% of the population of the world while their untapped resources of talent, skills, aspirations and skills can help society as a whole. IDC’s Women’s Forum has taken many initiatives on women’s issues and women of the Indian Diaspora must be encouraged to advance this agenda forward and be examples to women of the developed and developing world” - Ashook Ramsaran, President, IDC.


2018-01-28

IDC Establishes Committee on the Plight of Retrenched Sugar Workers in Guyana

In response to the current dilemma of retrenched sugar workers in Guyana facing desperate hardships, the Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) has joined with other concerned organizations and groups to express its support and urge timely assistance as needed. IDC has established a “Committee on Plight of Retrenched Sugar Workers in Guyana” with the following mission: “To ascertain the plight of entrenched sugar workers and seek ways and means to alleviate the suffering of those sugar workers and their families impacted by retrenchment due to closures of sugar estates. Activities of the committee are non-political, secular and not in conflict with laws or policies of the countries in which the committee would conduct its work”.

In a letter dated January 25, 2018 to Mr. Komal Chand, President of Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU), IDC stated that, “As is widely known, there are numerous news reports, letters and editorial out of Guyana, the Caribbean region, USA, Canada and UK about the severe consequential suffering and hardships inflicted upon Guyana sugar workers and their families due to closure of sugar estates and retrenchment. It is being widely reported that there is widespread alarm about the plight of these sugar workers and their families which are factual and raises concern about the wellbeing of people who are bearing the consequences of sugar industry and governmental policy changes”.

The IDC statement continued: “We applaud the decades long pioneering successes of Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) in representing the interests of Guyanese sugar workers for equitable wages and workers’ rights which have contributed enormously to the economic growth of Guyana. The sugar industry in Guyana, as with other former British colonies, was historically the economic mainstay of highly profitable sugar plantations and later for the independent countries. It is ironic that retrenched sugar workers are the consequential victims of an industry which brought slaves from Africa and Indian indentured laborers for profit and later a significant economic mainstays of the nation. We firmly believe that the retrenched sugar workers are deserving of the nation’s support at this crucial time of need”

IDC concurs that this is a real human problem affecting innocent workers, their families and others dependent on the continuing employment of sugar workers. The consequential effects and impact on society can be staggering and long lasting as the number of retrenched sugar workers are over 17,000 which is a substantial number.

“We urge GAWU and the Government of Guyana to take all necessary steps to quickly remedy the adverse effects on the retrenched sugar workers and their families. We urge all options and opportunities be taken into consideration, such as: Seek alternate markets globally; external investments for reviving closed sugar estates for same or alternate crops; alternate crops using existing irrigation and estate infrastructure; sugar estate land distribution to retrenched sugar workers; other progressive and humane alternatives”.

The IDC letter to Mr. Komal Chand was also copied to: Mr Seepaul Narine, General Secretary, GAWU; HE David Granger, President of the Republic of Guyana; and Amb. Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretar. General of CARICOM.


2017-12-28

Prof. Jay Nathan, PhD, Endowed Cultural Immersion Scholarship Program

Program:
A 3-week cultural immersion program, during the month of July of 2018, to enable students of Indian origin to experience American culture, excursions to historical places and learning English with qualified ESL instructors. Students will receive instruction in topics such as reading and vocabulary, writing, and conversation. Students will also experience American history and culture through a variety of day and weekend activities in Pennsylvania. This intensive, but enjoyable learning-by-doing experience that include music, theatre, field trips to nature walks.

www.keystone.edu

Date & Duration
July 9-27, 2018 (3 weeks)

Scholarship
Includes cost of the program, at Keystone College, room and board at campus, activities and travel by bus from New York to Keystone College in La Plume, Pennsylvania. Facilities include double rooms, lounges, laundry facilities, breakfast/lunch/dinner at campus student restaurant facilities. “We are sure the students will enjoy their experience on our beautiful campus and learn a great deal about life in the United States.” ~ Keystone College President Dr. David Coppola.

Location:
Keystone College, La Plume Campus, 1 College Road, La Plume, Pennsylvania 18440. Keystone College is a private comprehensive college located in La Plume, Northeastern Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1868. Enrolling approximately 1,400 students, Keystone offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree options in liberal arts and science-based programs in business, communications, education, fine arts, science, environmental resource management, geology, and social sciences. The school is well-regarded for the personalized attention given to students and its small class sizes. Keystone College is located about 15 miles (18 km) from Scranton, PA, 110 miles (175 km) from New York City and 115 miles(185 km) from Philadelphia.

Qualifications
Undergraduate entering freshman/woman 17-18 years of age, good academic standing and references. Person of Indian origin; Citizen of USA or Green Card Holder. Number accepted: Up to 10.

Application
Due date: January 31, 2018 (1/31/18) Use application format below and send via to Prof. Jay Nathan, Ph.D. at: natjay@gmail.com

Notification
Accepted applicants will be notified by February 15, 2018 (2/15/18)

Promoted by Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) www.IndianDiasporaCouncil.org Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC), established in 1997, is an international non-profit organization with global affiliates and membership in 21 countries with the objective to embrace, engage, and enhance the shared heritage, aspirations, and interests of persons of Indian origin with optimum inclusivity.


2017-12-26

Dr. Narendra Singh awarded Canada’s Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division)

Humber River Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Narendra Chetram Singh awarded Canada’s Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) by His Excellency the Right Hon. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

Toronto-based pediatrician Narendra Chetram Singh founded Guyana Help the Kids in 2009 to address neonatal and infant mortality rates in his country of birth. He raised funds to procure essential equipment, then went on to establish a residency program in collaboration with Canadian universities to train Guyanese pediatricians and nurses. Thanks to his efforts, the infant mortality rate in Guyana’s largest hospital has decreased by nearly 40 per cent.

Hospital President & CEO Barb Collins congratulated Dr. Singh, noting "we are all proud of the amazing work Dr. Singh, and many of his colleagues at Humber, do, not just in our hospital every day but beyond into the local and global communities. In Dr. Singh’s case, his leadership has seen the neonatal and infant mortality in his birth country of Guyana drop dramatically, saving the lives of hundreds of babies every year."

Dr. Singh thanked his partners in Guyana Help the Kids, saying "I’m honoured to share this with them: this is a true team effort from people determined to make a difference for these kids. I also want to thank my colleagues at Humber River Hospital for their support and encouragement at every step."


2017-12-26

IDC Presents Memorandum on Matters of Interest to PIOs from Francophone Territories

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) presented to H.E Amb. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, India’s Ambassador to France, on 16th October 2017 a “Memorandum of Matters of Interest to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) from Francophone Territories” containing a synopsis of the major issues of interest to persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in Francophone territories who comprise a significant percentage in the Indian Diaspora.

Presenting the memorandum were: Mr. Deo Gosine, President of IDC Trinidad & Tobago; Prof. Francis Ponaman, President IDC Francophone Countries; Dr. Jean Regis Ramsamy, President of IDC Reunion Island; Ms. Rita Abraham (South Africa), Chair of Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum.

The memorandum was developed from input, suggestions and recommendations from multiple sources, including community organizations, scholars, individual and IDC affiliates in several countries. It is also based on IDC’s extensive knowledge and experience, as well as interest within IDC and active engagement with other groups in the worldwide Indian community.

Some of the critical issues pertinent to PIOs from Francophone Territories and suggestions include:

  • Easier accessibility to OCI cards by persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in Francophone Territories who are presently being denied due to lack of original English or French immigration documentation from India to prove direct links to India. IDC proposes acceptance of alternate authenticated documentation as being applied to Mauritius. Refer to attached information in the Memorandum.
  • Preservation of all available English or French immigration documents for posterity and research.
  • Conference sessions at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) be also made available in French via translation means or devices. Sessions specific to Francophone countries to be conducted in French.
  • Know India Programmes (KIP) should accommodate French speaking youth who account for an increasingly significant number of participants annually.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra (PBK) in Delhi set aside a section for documents, literature, films, documentaries, publications, works of art published in French
The memorandum requested that these matters of interest and concern be consider favourably and forward to the respective ministries of the Government of India for satisfactory resolution as soon as feasible.

(l-r): Jean Regis Ramsamy (Reunion Isl), Deo Gosine, Mrs. Tara Gosine (Trinidad & Tobago), Pankaj Saxena, Minister Consul of Embassy of India in Paris, Rita Abraham (South Africa) and Samarassame Tanigar ( IDC France)


2017-12-26

IDC Proposal to co-name 169th Street in Queens, New York in honor of late Kalicharran

In his remarks at the wake of the late Ramesh D. Kalicharran on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) president Ashook Ramsaran also stated that:

“I have already started the process of renaming a portion of 169th Street as “Kali Avenue”. It is a fitting and well deserved tribute to Kali, his ideals and his legacy”.

This proposal was received with overwhelming applause in the presence of New State Assemblyman David Weprin who read and presented a posthumous tribute proclamation to Kalicharran’s wife Judy.

The proposal being submitted by Ramsaran is to rename 169th Street from Hillside Avenue to Highland Avenue as “Kali Avenue”. Kalicharran had his place of business and his home on 169th Street.

This proposal has the being supported by several New York based Caribbean organizations, groups and individuals – as well elected state and city officials who are very familiar with the outstanding contributions of Kalicharran, especially those officials whose constituency includes or are near to 169th Street.

“We are seeking maximum community and elected official support for this endeavor and we urge everyone to join with us in this well-deserved, life time achievement tribute to an icon of the Caribbean community in New York”. The renaming application will be filed with Community Board #8 and New York City Department of Transportation”, said Ramsaran.


2017-12-26

Kritilata Ram again named one of 100 Most Influential Women in Mauritius

Kritilata Ram, the Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) Coordinator in Mauritius, has again been recognized among the 100 Most Influential Women in Mauritius. Kritilata Ram is one of the hundred women who were recently rewarded at the ceremony 100 Most Influential Women in Mauritius. From education to entrepreneurship to social work, health and culture, these feminine elements stand out in the sectors in which they are engaged.

As President of Training & Development at the Mauritius Council of Social Services (MACOSS), her role is to provide specific training to entrepreneurs and start-ups so that they can become independent. "In two years, 1,200 have been trained in communication and project writing," said Kritilata Ram. Twenty women will also be trained in December so that they can then train 120 women across the country.


2017-12-25

Honouring Indian Soldiers who served in World War 1

FRANCE and INDIA - FREEDOM and LIBERTY by Ragini Arasen

Around 1.3 million soldiers from India participated in World War I (1914-1918). Among them, 140,000 Indian soldiers were sent to France. They were Sikhs, Punjabis and Gurkhas who came to strengthen the British army to defend freedom and liberty in France against invasion. They were soldiers from different ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. The Indians troops were mobilized on August 8, 1914 at the request of London without even getting any approval from the parliament of New Delhi. At that time, India was under British rule.

The Indian soldiers left the port of Bombay and landed at Marseille in France on September 26, 1914. They were immediately sent on the North front so as to help the French and Belgian soldiers to fight against the Germans. They were dressed in simple light cottons uniforms, which were far too light to face the extreme winter of North of France. They were having frozen feet, pneumonia and life in the muddy trenches was very hard to bear for the Indians who were not used to this climate. In 1914 and 1915, the Indian soldiers were engaged in the various fights. At Neuve Chapelle, Lavantie and Givenchy, they helped in the British offensive against the Germans. The Indian troops suffered a lot and only during that period 4047 Indians were recorded in the British casualty sheet. This tragedy and sacrifice of these soldiers is well related in a film “Farewell My Indian Soldier“of an Indian filmmaker and novelist based in Paris, Vijay Singh. The soldiers wrote about their experiences in around 600 letters when they were in hospitals, records of which are maintained in the Haryana Academy of Art and Culture. "Soldiers used to send one rupee from their monthly salary to the academy, which went towards education of students," says the filmmaker.

As World War I was coming to its end, the Indian soldiers participated in the procession of the Bastille Day on July 14, 1916 in Paris.
On October 07, 1927, The Memorial of Neuve Chapelle was inaugurated in the presence of Marshal Ferdinand Foch to honor the memory of Indian soldiers who died in France during World War I. On a wall, 4847 names of the soldiers are engraved, in alphabetical order and by combat unit. In the center of the memorial, one can read “In honor of the Indian Army who fought in France and Belgium, 1914-1918, and to perpetuate the memory of the soldiers whose names are engraved here.”
On April 11, 2015, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was the first and only Indian Prime Minister to have travelled to the memorial of Neuve-Chapelle to pay tribute to the 10 000 brave Indian soldiers who died during the First World War and who never returned back to their home. “I am honoured to pay homage to the Indian soldiers here at the Indian Memorial at Neuve Chappelle. Our soldiers who fought in foreign lands in the Great War, have won the admiration of the world for dedication, loyalty, courage and sacrifice. I salute them. ” said PM Modi.

The Ambassador of India, his Excellency Mohan Kwatra and the sous-prefet paying tribute to Chunki Soren, an Indian soldier of the 34th Division who died on 10 September 1917. Many of the Indian soldiers who fell 100 years ago in the WWI remain missing. Every time, one of their bodies is found on the French soil, then a ceremony is organized to pay military tribute to him.

On the November 12, 2017, members of the Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) France under the leadership of Mr Taniga Samarassame attended a wreath laying ceremony at Neuve Chapelle and to pay homage to 2 Indian Soldiers whose bodies were found after 100 years. The soldiers belonged to the Garhwal Rifles regiment of the Himalayan region. This regiment lost nearly 700 soldiers during World War I.



World War I (1914-1918) ended at 11 a.m. on 11 November 1918 with the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany. It established the reputation of Indian soldiers for their bravery, courage and sacrifice.

Ragini Arasen is Indian Diaspora Council Coordinator, France and contributing editor IDC Journal Newsletter.


2017-12-24

Rita Abraham’s Christmas Party at Angela Dube’s Orphanage in South Africa

Rita Abraham, a tireless social warrior and champion of the indigent, on 17 December 2017, hosted orphans at Angela Dube’s House as part of her festive season campaign to bring cheer to the poverty stricken communities in and around Durban, South Africa. It was a Christmas Party for HIV and AIDS orphans, including reading the Christmas story, Christmas Carols, gifts for all the children, lunch, treats and food for the holiday season. The children lit up when Ms. Abraham arrived with gifts, food and clothes in what turned out to be a major celebration in a house overwhelmed with love and care.

Angela Dube, who was once a homeless person and who lived in the streets of a township north of the city of Durban, started caring for orphans whose parents had fallen to the HIV/Aids pandemic in South Africa. Ms, Abraham who was then the president of the South African Women’s Forte which she founded almost two decades ago, learned of Angela Dube’s plight and made it a personal endeavor by rallying help develop, furnish and create a home.

“It was at a time when much needed to be done among various communities in Durban. I came across Angela Dube and felt that she needed all the help she could get. The Forte membership joined me in my efforts over the last 4 years and now over the last two years I continued to make a contribution to what has now become known as Angela’s House – it is a beacon home for many children. I will do whatever is necessary and will continue to keep a brief and hopefully, the children will have a comfortable future. Angela Dube needs all the help she can get and I urge people to support this wonderful and courageous woman,” said Ms. Abraham.

Rita Abraham is Chair of Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum (a division of Indian Diaspora Council Int’l).
To participate in Angela Dube’s 2018 program, contact: Rita Abraham at email ID: rabraham@mweb.co.za


2017-12-14

Rita Abraham Appointed Chair of Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum (IDWF)

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased to announce that Rita Abraham of Durban, South Africa, has been appointed Chair of Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum (IDWF), a division of Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC). The appointment is for a term of three (3) years.

IDC Statement: “The appointment is on the basis of Rita Abraham’s prominent position as a pioneer and globally recognized Indian community leader, and in particular in South Africa with its multi-ethnic community, an ardent advocate of Indian Diaspora engagement, addressing the Indian Diaspora’s interests and concerns, and chair of GOPIO’s Women’s Council, as well founding president of South Africa’s Women’s Forte. We firmly believe that Rita Abraham is uniquely qualified to be Chair, Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum, recognizing her expertise and contributions, her interest and commitment, as well as many years of advocacy for women’s rights and issues of gender equality. We are confident that Rita Abraham will bring an enhanced agenda to the Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum and very successful tenure as an outstanding leader”.



Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum (IDWF)
(A Division of Indian Diaspora Council International)

Objectives of IDWF:
To recognize and address needs and interests of women of the Indian Diaspora, including gender, cultural and empowerment issues which are becoming more visible as the population of women of the Indian Diaspora continues to grow with changing demographics, mobility and migration; To actively engage in collaborative forums for dialogue and exchanges among women of the Indian Diaspora to embrace, engage and enhance their interests and participation all segments of society; To encourage collaboration with women of the Indian Diaspora and other groups, associations and institutions to foster better understanding, cooperation and community service at local, regional and global levels; To establish partnerships with local, regional and international agencies and institutions engaged in promoting the interests of women; To document and promote the history, progress and achievements of women of the Indian Diaspora with articles, publications, works of art, documentaries and films; To convene at least one (1) national or international conference or forum with a specific theme addressing needs and interests of women of the Indian Diaspora. International venues to rotated among the countries of the Indian Diaspora; To recognize women of the Indian Diaspora who have contributed to progress of women of Indian Diaspora and have notable achievements in their respective professions or community service. All awards given the Indian Diaspora Women’s Forum (IDWF) shall be in accordance with IDC’s criteria and policies.


2017-12-04

IDC Mourns Passing of Ramesh D. Kalicharran


Ramesh Dalchand Kalicharranj

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) joins in solidarity with organizations, institutions, agencies, and individuals in USA, Guyana and other countries in mourning the passing of renowned community advocate, businessman and philanthropist Ramesh Dalchand Kalicharranj who passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017 in New York. We express deepest sympathies and condolences to his surviving spouse Judy, his children Jagdesh, Nadesh and Romanee, his grandchildren, his siblings, extended family, friends and associates.

IDC statement: “Ramesh Kalicharran was an outstanding community stalwart. He was 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. Ramesh D. Kalicharran was an active member of IDC and recognized 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 will be greatly missed”.

Kali was born on April 7, 1949 in Guyana. He is the eldest of eleven children born to Ramdayal and Mangani Kalicharran, second generation Indians of Guyana who trace their roots to the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Though of Indian origin, Kali sees himself beyond such limits as he continuously and relentlessly to promote the welfare of his Indo-Caribbean community, as well as others.

Kali has excelled in every field of endeavour since his boyhood days in Guyana when he served as an outstanding role model for our youth. He excelled academically, and in extra-curricular activities since his teenage days. Kali emigrated to the United States in 1970. Kali and Judy were married in 1974 and they have three talented children and 2 grandchildren.

Kali entered the real estate business, started a driving school and then launched an innovative concept, the Kali Bharat Yatra Tours (KBY) for people of Indian origin to discover and re-connection with their roots in India. Kali was owner and president of the Kali Group Kali of Companies. Throughout it all, he contributed substantially to community and humanitarian causes.

Ramesh D. Kalicharran, popularly known as Kali, is 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 is a proud ambassador for Guyana in particular, and the Caribbean, in general.

A citation to Ramesh Kalicharran from Queens Borough President best encapsulates his achievements." As an outstanding business and civic leader of the Guyanese community in Queens, you have generously given time, talent, and resources toward the betterment of your community and the preservation of its cultural heritage. I, President Shulman, wish to express my sincere gratitude for your valuable contribution to the cultural richness and vitality of our borough".


2017-11-09

UNIVERSITY OF WEST INDIES (UWI) HONORS PROF. CLEM SEECHARAN

The Indian Diaspora council International (IDC) congratulates Professor Clem Seecharan for the honor of D.Litt (Doctor of Letters) bestowed on him by the University of the West Indies (St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago) on 28th October 2017. The honor was in recognition of Prof. Seecharan’s scholarship in Indo-Caribbean history and the history of West Indies cricket, as well as for his teaching of Caribbean History, having been Head of Caribbean Studies at London Metropolitan University for nearly 20 years.

Born in the small village of Palmyra in Berbice, Guyana, 67 years ago, he is being honoured for his prolific research and writings on Indo-Caribbean history and the history of West Indies cricket, as well as for his teaching of Caribbean history for over 25 years. Clem was the Head of Caribbean Studies for nearly 20 years at London Metropolitan University, where he is Emeritus Professor of History since 2012.

Professor Seecharan was educated at Berbice Educational Institute, Queen’s College, Mc Master University (Canada) and the University of Warwick (England) – the first person to get a Ph.D from the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick.

Professor Seecharan is the author of over a dozen books, several of which have earned recognition in academia. His book, Sweetening Bitter Sugar:Jock Campbell, the Booker Reformer in British Guiana, was awarded the prestigious Elsa Goveia Prize in 2005 by the Association of Caribbean Historians. They considered this book ‘a magisterial account that manoeuvres the reader through one of the most painfully fragmentary periods of Guyanese history…elegantly written…a genuinely majestic work’. Of his book, From Ranji to Rohan: Cricket and Indian Identity in Colonial Guyana, the eminent Indian Professor of Columbia University, Partha Chatterjee, has written: ‘This is a serious book on cricket and its socio-cultural implications in Guyana. It bears comparison with C.L.R. James’s classic, Beyond a Boundary’.

His other books include Tiger in the Stars: the Anatomy of Indian Achievement in British Guiana; Bechu: ‘Bound Coolie’ Radical in British Guiana; Mother India Shadow over El Dorado: Indo-Guyanese Politics and Identity, 1890s-1930s; Muscular Learning: Cricket and Education in the Making of the British West Indies; and Finding Myself: Essays on Race, Politics and Culture.

Clem is currently working on a three-volume study called Hand-in-Hand History of Cricket in Guyana, the first volume of which was published in 2016; the second will be published at the end of this year. Petamber Persaud (the Guyanese journalist) observes that Clem ‘came from a bookless world but…has become the most prolific writer on the Indian travails and triumphs in Guyana’. And one of Clem’s publishers, Jeremy Poynting, remarked recently: ‘Quietly (though this is not the immediate word one thinks of with Clem Seecharan) he has become a very significant Caribbean intellectual presence. Who has written better about cricket since C.L.R. James?’

In his acceptance speech at the award ceremony, before the Chancellor of UWI, Mr Robert Bermudez, the Vice-Chancellor of UWI Professor Hillary Beckles and the Principal of the St Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland, Professor Seecharan counselled the young graduates in the Humanities thus: ‘I rarely feel the compulsion to look over my shoulders; I am not afraid to challenge sacred cows. Fortified by your learning and with experience, you, too, will build the confidence to fight your corner. Don’t let anyone intimidate you into abandoning any principle you consider worthy of defending. And the time to do so is when you still have the freedom to do so’.

Among Professor Seecharan’s guests at the award ceremony were his wife Chris Vaughan; his friend of 60 years, Dr Tulsi Singh and his wife Claudette; Dr Puran Singh and Mrs Savitree Singh; Professor Bridget Brereton; Professor Brinsley Samaroo; former West Indies wicket-keeper, Deryck Murray; Mr Seenath Jairam, SC; Dr Primnath Gooptar and Mr Ashraf Ali.

Picture above (l-r): Mr Robert Bermudez, Chancellor of the UWI; Prof. Clem Seecharan; Professor Brian Copeland, Principal of the UWI, St Augustine Campus.


2017-11-01

Know India Program (KIP) by India’s Ministry of External Affairs

Nomination of participants for 45th (29th January - 22 February 2018) and 46th (12th February - 8th March, 2018) editions of the Know India Program with Partner States Rajasthan & Madhya Pradesh.

Know India Program (KIP) is a flagship program of Ministry of External Affairs. It is a three-week orientation program for Diaspora youth conducted with a view to promote awareness on different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields e.g. economic, industrial, education, science & technology, communication & information. KIP provide a unique forum for students & young professionals of Indian origin to visit India, share their views, expectations & experiences and to develop closer bonds with the contemporary India.

This program is open to youth of Indian origin (excluding non-resident Indians) from all over the world with preference to 3rd generation onward who never visited India before.

Know India Program (KIP) is a 25 days program (excluding international travel) including 2-day orientation program in New Delhi. Participants will meet opinion makers, leaders, officials to get an overview of India’s economy, society and ongoing growth and development story.

Participants are provided local hospitality like boarding and internal transportation in India, return air tickets from their country of residence to India provided participants bear 10% of the cost of total air fare. Gratis visa shall be granted to participants by the Indian Missions/Posts abroad.

Minimum qualification required for participating in Know India Program (KIP) are:

  • Graduation from a recognized University /Institute or enrolled for graduation and ability to speak in English.
  • The applicant should not have visited India through any previous Program of Government of India. Those who have not visited India before will be given preference.

Applicant must provide documentary evidence to prove Indian origin or an undertaking about Indian origin which must be countersigned by the respective Indian Embassy/High Commission/Consul General.

The deadline for 45th and 46th KIP registration is December 15th, 2017.

Details about the Program, including application, can be found on www.kip.gov.in


2017-10-07

Observances of Gandhis Birthday in Mauritius & Grenada

Observances of Gandhi’s Birthday in Mauritius & Grenada - Please click here to download the pdf file


2017-10-03

RELEASE of IDC’s 20th ANNIVERSARY JOURNAL NEWS

The Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased to announce the release of its 20th Anniversary IDC Journal Publication on September 30, 2017 in New York, USA. IDC was established as a global non-profit organization established in 1997 with the objective to embrace, engage and enhance the shared heritage, aspirations and interests of persons of Indian origin with optimum inclusivity. It shall be secular and non-political with a centrally located secretariat and global country wise network of chapters and affiliates, and collaborating with governments, institutions, organizations and agencies to achieve its objectives.

IDC Journal news is an informative compilation of information, achievements, commentary, issues and events pertinent to the Indian Diaspora, as well as planned events and programs, including collaboration with various ministries of governments, organizations, institutions and agencies, including India’s Overseas Indian Affairs Department of Ministry of External Affairs.

The 20th Anniversary IDC Journal includes: PIO of the Month, High Achievers, Featured History, IDC on the GO, Glimpses of IDC, Current Issues, Arts & Media, Natural Disasters Worldwide, Community Service and Letters to the Editor. This can be viewed in its entirety: IDC Journal 20th Anniversary Issue September 2017.

Ashook Ramsaran, president of IDC in his commentary, stated: “We take much pride in the publication of IDC Journal on the 20th anniversary of the founding of IDC to further engage, embrace, and enhance the worldwide Indian Diaspora community. The IDC Journal news and editorial teams are dedicated persons with shared interest to make a difference. We encourage readers’ feedback, comments and suggestions so that IDC Journal can be more responsive to current, critical issues, as well as be more effective in advancing the interests and issues of the Indian Diaspora—by providing valuable input to IDC for further engagement and improving IDC’s service to the global Indian community. Thanks to the news and editorial teams and congratulations and best wishes for continuing success of IDC Journal Thanks to IDC Journal’s dedicated news and editorial teams headed by Chief Editor, Suzanne Mahadeo, and congratulations and best wishes for continuing success of IDC Journal and IDC globally.”

Subscribe to receive IDC Journal at www.IndianDiasporaCouncil.org


2017-08-31

New York State Lt. Governor Hochul meets South Asian Community

New York State Lt. Governor, Hon. Kathy Hockul, met with several members of the South Asian community in Queens, New York at a South Asian community leader roundtable discussion held on Monday, August 28th, 2017 at New Mejbaan Restaurant in Jackson Heights, New York. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information about "some of the great programs and resources available for all New Yorkers", followed by community activities, issues, interests and concerns shared by the South Asian members in attendance. These included: Changing demographics and impact in New York; NYS Excelsior scholarship program for needy students; community economic development; immigration and discrimination issues; health care, youth and senior programs.

The meeting was organized by Hersh K. Parekh, Queens Regional Representative of the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Participating in the session was NYS Assemblyman Michael DanDekker, representing New York’s 34th Assembly District, which includes Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, and part of Woodside.

Among the members of the PIO community from the Caribbean were: Rhonda Binda, executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District; Ashook Ramsaran, president of Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) & chair of NYP/Q Community Advisory Council; Harbachan Singh, vice president of Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) & former president of Queens Civic Congress; Annetta Seecharran, executive director of Chhaya.

The meeting was the first of its kind and would be followed many more focusing on specific issues.


NYS Lt. Governor, Hon. Kathy Hockul, shown in center with members of South Asian community in Queens, NY



Ashook Ramsaran, New York State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, Harbachan Singh



New York State Lt. Governor, Hon. Kathy Hockul (center) with Renee Mehrra (left) and Ashook Ramsaran (right)


2017-07-30

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME FOR DIASPORA CHILDREN [SPDC]

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME FOR DIASPORA CHILDREN [SPDC]

FOR HIGHER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN INDIA

By Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs

Academic Session 2017-18



  • Government of India launched a scheme called “Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children” (SPDC), in the academic year 2006-2007, for the children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to assist them in pursuing Under Graduate courses in Indian Universities/Institutes.

  • SPDC is awarded to following four categories:
    • (i) Children of Person of Indian Origin
    • (ii) Children of Non-Resident Indian
    • (iii) Children of Indian Workers in ECR countries studying outside India
    • (iv) Children of Indian Workers in ECR countries studying in India
  • Read more...


    2017-07-29

    Know India Programme for Young Overseas Indians

    Know India Programme for Young Overseas Indians

    By Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs

    Know India Programme Schedule: 2017-18



    On 17 June 2017, External Affairs Minister inaugurated a portal for Know India Programme (KIP), the Ministry’s flagship initiative for engagement with young overseas Indians. The portal www.kip.gov.in enables Indian-origin youth to apply online for KIP programmes. This year i.e. in 2017, the Ministry will organise four KIPs with participation of 40 overseas Indians in each programme. The schedule of KIPs has been finalised and can be seen online. Indian-origin youth can submit applications online for the following first four KIPs to be held in 2017 i.e. 41, 42, 43 & 44:

    Read More...


    2017-07-21

    Indian Consul General Amb. Riva Das presented with NYS Resolution on 100th Anniversary of Abolition of Indian Indentureship - July 19, 2017

    New York State Assemblyman David Weprin, accompanied by Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC), presented to Amb. Riva Ganguly Das, Indian Consul General in New York, the NYS Resolution #701 adopted by NYS Legislature on June 21, 2017 in recognition of the March 3, 2017 observance of the New York Indian Consulate’s recognition of 100th Anniversary of the abolition of Indian Indentureship. The presentation took take place on Wednesday July 19, 2017 at the Indian Consulate in New York.

    The Indian Diaspora Council International’s (IDC) president Ashook Ramsaran initiated the effort for the New York State Resolution and collaborated with Hon. David Weprin who was the lead sponsor. The Resolution was co-sponsored by NYS Assembly Members Miller, Rozic, Lavine, Simon, Ortiz and several others. This Resolution complements the Proclamation by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo issued on March 3, 2017.

    Read more....


    2017-07-08

    Oscar Ramjeet appointed as IDC’s Director, Legal Affairs Committee

    OSCAR RAMJEET APPOINTED DIRECTOR, LEGAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE of INDIAN DIASPORA COUNCIL

    The Board of Directors of the Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Oscar Ramjeet as Indian Diaspora Council’s Director, Legal Affairs Committee.

    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 Director, Legal Affairs Committee reports directly to the Executive Vice President of IDC International.

    The portfolio of IDC’s Director, Legal Affairs Committee shall include: Advice, recommendations and updates to IDC on legal matters pertaining to IDC goals, objectives, agenda and activities, working collaboratively with an internationally represented IDC legal team; regular reviews of IDC by-laws, press releases, letters of agreement and memorandum of understanding between IDC and other entities; interaction, liaison and engagement with other legal entities on IDC legal matters; legal approval of new IDC country affiliate applications; review and formulate plans to seek appropriate apologies, atonement, reparations and other means of compensation from British, French, Dutch and other governments and entities on the brutal and inhumane treatment of Indian indentured labourers and their descendants;

    Mr. Ramjeet earned LL.B (Honors) from University of the West Indies (1977); Council of Legal Education Certificate from the Caribbean (1993) and Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations from the Federal Republic of Germany. Countries admitted to practice law: Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Montserrat, St. Lucia, British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and also in the Southern District of New York, USA; Admitted in the District of St. Thomas US Virgin Island as an Assistant Attorney General as well as the Third Circuit in 1994 and appeared in two appeals while served as Assistant Attorney General. Solicitor General of Belize, member of Judicial & Legal Service Commission; Immigration attorney; Associate J.S. Archibald & Co. Legal Practitioners, British Virgin Island; Associate J.S. Archibald & Co. Legal Practitioners, British Virgin Island; Registrar/Magistrate in Montserrat; Administrative Law Judge, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Legal Counsel, Personnel, Office of the Governor; Assistant Attorney General, US Virgin Island; Solicitor General, St Vincent and Grenadines. Participated in numerous conferences and seminars in UK, Bolivia, Canada, Washington DC and several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states.

    IDC’s Board of Directors firmly believes that Mr. Ramjeet’s vast experience and expertise as well as his shared interests will enhance the goals of IDC globally, and welcomes him to the IDC family.


    2017-07-06

    Evaluative Case Study of Caregiver Support & Advocacy for Children with Disabilities in Guyana

    Evaluative Case Study of Caregiver Support & Advocacy for Children with Disabilities in Guyana

    Report by Sharla Madho-Khargi, PhD

    After twenty-eight years, I finally returned to Guyana to fulfill one of my life long dreams. This trip was to begin the process of advocating for and providing support to the disabled population.

    Day 1: My trip began at the Community Based Rehabilitation Program (CBR) which is located in Port Mourant, Berbice, gathering data and conducting assessments to understand and help parents of disabled people. I met with Mark Adams the program officer for the CBR program who was extremely helpful in setting up the visit to the program, making introductions to the teachers and administrators as well as parents who currently participate in the program. I immediately began administrating surveys to parents, teachers and administrators followed by parent training skills classes which included American sign language. Parents and teachers were extremely receptive and thankful. They reported that they felt relieved after the training sessions because it helped them to understand their children better.

    Day 2: Next I visited the Sorsha Williams Foundation in Georgetown Guyana, a program owned and facilitated by Ms. Karen Williams. Ms. Williams is an amazing human being who puts any and all efforts necessary to meet the needs of parents of disabled children. This program serves children with special needs and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parents who participate in this program were very receptive to the skills training sessions and were also very thankful for any help. After my visit at the Sorsha Williams foundation, I did an interview with the Guyana Times newspaper as well as a television interview via the “Coast to Coast” program facilitated and hosted by Mr. Nazim Hussain, National coordinating Director of Caribbean Voice. The newspaper and television interviews were both tremendous in helping to raise awareness and create advocacy for the disabled population.

    Day 3: On day three of my trip, I met with Hon. Volda Lawrence, Minister of Public Health (pictured on left). , The meeting was facilitated by Indian Diaspora Council president Mr. Ashook Ramsaran. My meeting with the Min. Lawrence was a success as Min. Lawrence and her staff were welcoming and respectful of the objectives of my trip. They were kind enough to listen to my assessment of the CBR program and offered to help with the project by putting me in contact with the staff of the Disability Council in Guyana. On the same day, I reviewed the Ptolemy Reid Program, also in Georgetown which serves children with disabilities. The staff at the Ptolemy Reid program were hungry for knowledge and resources to better help them to serve the disabled population.


    Days 4-5: In days four and five I followed up with more training sessions at the CBR program as well as conducting one to one house visits with families of disabled children. Visiting families on a one to one basis left a profound impact on me and the extent of work that needs to be done to improve this disabled population in Guyana.

    My brief five-day trip was productive, inspiring and rewarding. It helped to keep alive my passion as a psychologist and philanthropist who will continue to empower parents of disabled children and influence positive social change and social justice. My observations and interactions with families, programs, teachers and administrators provided an in depth understanding of the real-life condition of these facilities. There was no running water and barely functional furniture. I am even more disturbed at the limited resources available to the disabled population. It is appalling that teachers at the CBR program use beer bottle caps as counting tools, outdated and inappropriate books that do not address the appropriate cognitive level of functioning of the students. There was no running water and the furniture was barely functional. Despite all these conditions, the teachers worked diligently with what was available to provide an education to their students.

    All of these programs are in dire need of education, awareness, nurture, advocacy and resources to support and sustain appropriate care for the disabled population. It is highly unethical that the amendments that were put in place by the Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities in 2006 has not been distributed to every parent of a disabled child, facilities that struggle to support this population, teachers, administrators and representative who are in the position to advocate appropriately for the disabled population.

    My Conclusions

    • Parents are unaware of the amendments that were put in place by the 2006 Convention on the Rights for People with Disabilities.
    • The needs of the disabled population are minimized.
    • Parents of disabled people are in need of education, advocacy and resources to understand and help their disabled children.
    • The CBR program is in need of school supplies, furniture and additional educations resources to continue to teach the students of the program.
    • The CBR program needs to be restructured to appropriately serve the needs of disabled children as well as their parents.
    Proposed Future Plans and Actions:
    • Rebuild and restructure the CBR program.
    • Provide resources to maintain the CBR program.
    • Provide consistent and ongoing skills training to parents of disabled children.
    • Provide and train professionals to sustain the growth of the CBR program.
    I feel honored and I am grateful for this opportunity that supported my research project and the completion of my doctoral dissertation. My next steps are to put the appropriate resources in place to support, rebuild, restructure as well as sustain the CBR program to fit the needs of parents with disabled children.



    Sharla Madho-Khargi, PhD
    Dr. Sharla Madho-Khargi, Indian Diaspora Council’s Director of Community Based Rehabilitation, is a clinical psychologist based in New York. She is an assistant director for one of NY State’s Psychiatric Institute’s QSAC - Quality Service for the Autistic Community, as well as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. She is currently working internationally to raise more awareness and build advocacy for disabled people. Her research focuses on improving the lives of disabled people across the world and effecting positive social change.


    2017-07-05

    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.


    2017-07-04

    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.


    2017-07-03

    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”.


    2017-06-30

    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.
    DOWNLOAD PDF


    2017-06-19

    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.”


    2016-11-18

    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 D. Mulay


    2016-11-18

    IDC Mourns the Passing of Philanthropist George Subraj


    George Subraj

    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.


    2016-11-05

    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.

    This agreement shall be valid for the period of 3 years from the date of signing, and will be renewed, thereafter on mutual consent.

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    2016-11-05

    MRIDUL PATHAK APPOINTED IDCs AMBASSADOR, WEST BENGAL

    MRIDUL PATHAK APPOINTED IDC’s 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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    2016-10-31

    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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    2016-10-28

    MADHUKAR JETLEY APPOINTED IDC’s AMBASSADOR, UP DIASPORA

    MADHUKAR JETLEY APPOINTED IDC’s AMBASSSADOR, UP DIASPORA


    Mr. Madhukar Jetley

    The Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Madhukar Jetley as Indian Diaspora Council’s Ambassador, UP (Uttar Pradesh) Diaspora.

    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, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Diaspora reports directly to the president of Indian Diaspora Council.

    The portfolio of IDC’s Ambassador, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Diaspora shall include: Engagement on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) who are originally from Uttar Pradesh or having ancestral roots in Uttar Pradesh; liaison with State Government of Uttar Pradesh on behalf of Indian Diaspora Council for on-going and planned projects, events and programs in globally and in Uttar Pradesh; promote and advance the interest of Indian Diaspora Council in the State of Uttar Pradesh, other states in India, the Central Government of India and in other countries. Indian Diaspora Council recognizes that, while migration from Uttar Pradesh continues at an increasing rate, a significant number of Indian indentured laborers were from Uttar Pradesh and many have traced their roots to Uttar Pradesh. 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. Mr. Jetley is a Member of Legislative Council of Uttar Pradesh the Upper House of State Legislature and an active Former Advisor to the NRI & Externally Aided Projects Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh. He is a graduate from Lucknow University with over more than 30 years of experience working with the multiple sectors. He has been involved with various infrastructure initiatives of the states such as the first ever Metro Rail project in Lucknow, which has now been conceived by him in five other cities: Agra, Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi which are tourist destinations and business hub. He is also Life member of Supreme Court Bar Association of India in practice areas of Corporate Law (No 4178).

    Mr. Jetley has also been single handedly instrumental in the conceptualization and creation of a dedicated UPNRI Department for UP NRI’s. The Department aims at providing support and facilitates for issues that the NRIs may face abroad or their kin and families may face at home in the State. He also initiated the a dedicated website for UP NRIs and PIOs and the concept of NRI cards for every UP NRI across the Diaspora to have an opportunity to connect back with their roots and invest in their Mother State and giving comfort and connection to UP NRIs.

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Indian Diaspora Council
Post Office Box 650523
Queens, New York 11365
USA

Phone: +1-347-494-1502
Email: info@indiandiasporacouncil.org
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