News Americas, QUEENS, NY, Tues. Dec. 5, 2017: Renowned Guyana-born, Queens businessman and activist, Ramesh D. Kalicharran, passed away in New York City on December 3rd News Americas has learned. He was 68.
Kalicharran, known to many as ‘Kali,’ owned a popular real estate company on Hillside Avenue in Queens in the 1990’s and also ran a successful tour company, Kali Travel and Tours, which promoted many successful tours to India.
The staunch Hindu also was a major activist in the community and supported many causes including for representation in Queens of the Indo-Caribbean holidays of Diwali and Phagwah.
Kalicharran also founded the Gyaan Bhakti Satsangh Mandir; convened a meeting of Hindu Priests from which was born the USA Pandits’ Parishad and was a founding member of the Indo-Caribbean Federation which hosts the annual Indian Arrival Day celebrations at Phil Rizzuto Park, Richmond Hill, New York. He was also a founding member of the Maha Lakshmi Mandir of 121-15 101 Ave., Richmond Hill, New York; and a founding member of the Indo-Caribbean Council, promoting the rights and welfare of Indo-Caribbeans in the USA and the Caribbean.
Earlier on, with a view to bringing a number of organizations to work together, ‘Kali’ launched an Indo-Caribbean ethnic radio program called “Sangeet Mala (1520AM) in the mid-1980s. That program was eventually superseded by other radio programs and sponsors.
Kalicharran also wanted to tell the world, including New York political leaders, that the Indo-Caribbean community in New York is a force to be reckoned with, and that they cannot afford any longer to ignore their needs and concerns. One way to demonstrate strength and unity was through a massive community mobilization called the Phagwah Parade. He, along with Dharmacharya Ramall, Dr Satish Prakash and other leaders founded the annual Phagwah Parade, which is today the biggest Indo-Caribbean community mobilization.
He was also a founder member of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and served as the Caribbean Regional Coordinator. GOPIO represents 23 million Indians who live outside India (Indian Diaspora). He functioned as the coordinator of the International Commission for Restoration of Shrines and Places of Worship.
Kalicharran’s community activism and advocacy have played an important role in bringing the Indo-Caribbean community’s concerns to the attention of the New York political establishment. In recognition of his sterling efforts in this area, he has received many citations and awards from NY State Assembly, New York City Council, Queens Borough President Office, the U.S. Congress, as well as from the Guyana president. Many other citations were given to him by NGOs, including Flushing Cultural Council, Guyana Festival Committee, India Tourist Board, Guyana Watch and Federation of Indian Associations. He also received the Bharat Gaurav “Life Time Achievement” award from the Sarv Brahman Sabha of Jaipur India and in 2012, he was among several awardees at the Global India Business (GIB) ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan.
A viewing is planned for today, Tuesday December 5th and tomorrow, Wednesday December 6th at Bernard Dowd Funeral Home 165-20 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432.
A funeral service is set for 11a.m. -1p.m. on Thursday 12/7 at Bernard Dowd Funeral Home and will be immediately followed by cremation at St. Michael’s Cemetery 72-02 Astoria Blvd. East Elmhurst, NY 11370.
Kalicharran is survived by his wife Judith Kalicharran; children Jagdesh, Nadesh and Romanee, two grandchildren and five brothers and three sisters.