At the street naming ceremony for the late Ramesh Kalicharran (popularly known as Kali), the man behind the move to name a street after Kali, Mr. Ashook Ramsaran, delivered the following remarks. First, he paid tribute to all the veterans, those who lost their lives in battle and those still around, for their sacrifices to make it possible for the freedom, peace and quality of life that is enjoyed today in America. Then he showered accolades on Kali.
He stated: “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 of the work of this individual”.
He commented: “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 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 it”.
Mr. Ramsaran received overwhelming applause and praise for his words.
He noted that lots of guidance, advice and encouragement went into the process and he used connections he had to speed up the request. “I could not have done it without these contacts and individuals”.
He said: “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. And not all was smooth. There was some administrative delay. But the application had merit and enormous support”.
Finally, the bill was passed by NY City Council into law – December 2018.
“Yes, it was a successful effort as we are witnessing here today”.
Mr. Ramsaran thanked all who helped, encouraged, advised, mentored and guided the effort throughout the long process. Among them were: 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. CM Rory Lancman and his staff – Massis & Henry; AM David Weprin and his staff – Anthony, Muhammed, Sumeet, Janna and others; Marie Adam-Ovide - District Manager CB #8; , Harbachan Singh, Dilip Nath and others; Indian Diaspora Council – Santram Dukhbhanjan, Peter Persaud and Jhairam Persaud, Dr. Sharla Khargi, Vidur Dindyal (UK) and others; Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council – Roop Persaud & Rev Seopaul Singh; Patricia Jordan-Langford – Guyana Tri-State Alliance; Dilip Nath- New American Voter Association; Mohammed Hack - Interfaith Council Comm; Dr. Dhanpaul Narine - Shri Trimurti Bhavan; Indian Jewish Council – Richie Lipkowitz; Vishnu Mahadeo – RH 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.
Following the success of Kali Way, Mr. Ramsaran said he is 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 is located Arya Spiritual Center founded by Ramlall-ji.. 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”.
Mr. Ramsaran announced that 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”.
There were several prominent members of the Indo-Caribbean community at the event including Yash Pal Soi who delivered remarks, including Rose Soni, Parmanand Sukhu, among others.