St. John's University's Center on Caribbean and Latin American Studies (CLACS) on Thursday, November 15, 2007 paid tribute to Guyanese born Ashook Ramsaran for his extra-ordinary civic and humanitarian efforts, and presented a plaque of recognition to him at the President's Room at the campus in Queens, New York. The event was a special luncheon attended by several prominent faculty members of various disciplines at St. John's University, as well as Ramsaran's family members, including his wife Camille, son Arnold and daughter-in-law Nadira.
Also in attendance was Dr Jagat Motwani, Chairman of GOPIO's Academic Council, and Deo Gosine, board member of Indo-Caribbean Council.
The special tribute was in recognition of the contribution of time, talent and resources by Ashook Ramsaran in civic matters both at the local community level and globally as well. In addition to his responsibilities as president of Ramex, Inc., his own electronics design and manufacturing company in College Point, Queens, Ramsaran devotes substantial amounts of time on civic matters. He is the Secretary General of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International), board member officer of Fresh Meadows Civic Association, advisory board member of St. John's University's Center on Caribbean and Latin American Studies (CLACS), and active in several other organizations. Dr Alina Camacho-Gingerich, Chair of Center on Caribbean and Latin American Studies (CLACS) at St. John's University, complimented Ramsaran and spoke of the excellent beneficial relationship between CLACS and Ashook Ramsaran.
Dr Camacho-Gingerich briefly described how Ramsaran works productively in collaboration with St. John's CLACS: To d evelop and coordinate global conferences on Indian Diaspora issues: “ Coping In America: Caribbean East Indians in the USA ” (1999); “ Human Rights Experiences of Indians ” (2004); In collaboration with New York City's Mayor Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) conference on “ Caribbean East Indians in New York: The Journey Continues ” (Event held as part of New York City Immigrant Week (April 16—20, 2007); and a conference on “ Inter Ethnic Relationship and Common Areas for Collaboration for Mutual Benefits ” to be held as part “of New York City Immigrant Week, April 14—18, 2008); “ Regional Community Dialogue ” in Guyana in conjunction with the 170 th anniversary of Indian arrival in Guyana (May 3-5, 2008).
Dr Camacho-Gingerich read Ramsaran's bio-profile and then presented him a special plaque from St. John's University that was inscribed in part as follows:
« In recognition of his tireless work on behalf of human dignity and respect for human rights among all people ».
Upon receiving the recognition plaque, Ramsaran said, « I feel very honored to be given this recognition by such a prestigious institution. Although it was never the intent for my efforts doing civic work here and on a global level, I feel happy receiving it. I hope that I can continue to be of service to others, using my talent and time to make a difference. »
It was also announced that The Ashook K. Ramsaran Scholarship has been established at St. John's University and funded by Ramsaran for deserving students in Caribbean and Latin American studies at St John's University in New York.
Selection of recipients will be made by a committee consisting of Ramsaran and Chair of the Center on Caribbean and Latin American Studies (CLACS) at St. John's University.
Photo courtesy : Ashook Ramsaran.