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The Civic Scene: Indian gov’t bestows honor on Fresh Meadows resident

Ramsaran is the executive vice president of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin. He is the owner of Ramex, an electronics manufacturing company in New York City. His great-grandparents emigrated from India in 1853, the year of the Sepoy Mutiny, to British Guiana, now called Guyana, as indentured laborers to work as drivers on the sugar plantations there. He had been destined to work in the sugar fields, but an uncle recognized his interest in learning and made it possible for him to attend school. He came to New York City in 1968, earning a degree in electronic engineering from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn.

His latest honor is being one of 14 people presented with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Samman Award, the highest honor given by the government of India to people of Indian origin living overseas. He was in Kolkata to dedicate the Kolkata Memorial Jan. 11 at Kidderpore Depot along the Hoogley River. The memorial is inscribed in English and Hindi and pays tribute to those who left India as indentured Indian laborers from 1834-1920.

Ramsaran helped the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs design the plaque which reads, in part, “Our ancestors who left these shores deserve their place in the annals of Indian history and the journeys of people of Indian origin. We owe them due recognition and a lasting remembrance.”

He lives in Fresh Meadows with his wife, Camille. They have two sons, Arnold and Gerald, and two grandchildren: Jaden, 6, and Gavin, 3.

It is interesting that, as it has been with so many other immigrant groups, a person of Indian ancestry has been involved in civic matters where he now lives as well as in the land of his ancestors. This is just one of the many journeys made by those who make up the mosaic of the United States.

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