ASHOOK K RAMSARAN
Born in Guyana (formerly British Guiana), Ashook Kumar Ramsaran is third generation of Indian immigrants who came to Guyana as indentured laborers (1853 and 1860 respectively). He emigrated in 1968 to the USA where he earned engineering degrees at Polytechnic University in New York. As an electronics engineer, he progressed rapidly to Vice President of Engineering in an international communications company before establishing Ramex, his own electronics manufacturing enterprise in New York. Ramsaran is married to Camille (formerly Camille Ramgadoo, also of Guyana) and they are the parents of 2 sons, Arnold Mahendra and Gerald Rajendra, both residing in the USA; 2 grandsons: Jaden 6 and Gavin 3. Ramsaran is President of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) and Chairperson of GOPIO's Tracing Our Roots Committee.
He is also the Co-Founder and Director General of the Guyanese East Indian Civic Association (GEICA), and Director of the Caribbean Business Council (CBC). He has instituted several innovative ideas and programs to address issues of interest and concern of the global Indian Diaspora. He is an ardent advocate of universal human rights and observance of due process and rule of law in the Indian Diaspora. He is on the board of New York's St. John's University's Committee on Caribbean and Latin American Studies (SJU/ CLACS) and collaborates with SJU and New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs on a continuing series of seminars and conferences on immigrant issues and experiences in New York City. "Coping In America – Caribbean East Indians in the USA: (2004); Empowering our Immigrant Neighbors Part II: Agenda for Action: "Challenges and Opportunities Facing Immigrants of Indian Origin from the Caribbean in the USA" (2011). Ramsaran was accorded a special recognition by St. John's University in 2007 and a scholarship for Diaspora studies was established in his name.
Ramsaran was honored as the "Outstanding Immigrant" by New York City Council and serves annually as "Principal For The Day" in the New York Public School system. He is very active in his local New York community's civic, political and cultural groups, contributes generously to causes on behalf of the needy, and has written extensively on issues of interest and concern affecting people of Indian origin in the global Indian Diaspora. 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. He was honored in Toronot, Canada on August 11, 2011 at a ceremony with Ontario's Premier Hon. Dalton McGinty.
Ramsaran collaborates extensively with India's Ministry of Overseas Indians Affairs (MOIA) on global Indian Diaspora matters and the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) events. He was hairperson, speaker and/or panelist at PBD 2005, PBD 2007, PBD2008, PBD2009, PBD2010 and PBD2011. He was the Convenor of GOPIO's highly successful 20th Anniversary Convention Aug 21—23, 2009 in New York. Ramsaran has been honored in 2009 by Special Proclamation by City of New York in 2009 for his outstanding services and contributions as an immigrant in the USA and he was the recipient of highly acclaimed 2010 "Asian Heritage Award" in New York. Ramsaran was instrumental in the very successful GOPIO large scale global petition to the Government of India that resulted in a reversal of the decision on excessive fees and procedures for surrender of Indian passports.
Ramsaran collaborated closely with and convinced the Government of India to construct and dedicate the Kolkata Memorial (on January 11, 2011 in Kolkata) based on his initiative and his words on the inscription in recognition and remembrance of Indian indentured laborers sent to British colonies from 1834 thru' 1920. For his many notable contributions and exemplary service to the global Indian diaspora, Ramsaran was accorded the prestigious Government of India's Pravasi Samman Award by the President of India on January 9, 2011 in New Delhi, India.