Queens Street to be named after Indo-Caribbean Leader “Kali” Way Street Co-Naming Approved by Community Board

Queens Street to be named after Indo-Caribbean Leader “Kali” Way Street Co-Naming Approved by Community Board

Part of a street in Jamaica, Queens, New York will see its name changed to honor an Indo-Caribbean community leader Ramesh Dalchand Kalichharran. Shri Kalicharran-ji is like a doyen of the area where he lived and ran a business. He was widely respected among people of all ethnicities. He helped people of all groups. And he especially did enormous work for the people of the area of his business regardless of their background. He funded many activities in New York City for decades and assisted various communities not the least being Indo-Caribbeans, South Asians, Haitians, and Hispanics.

This recognition for Kali-ji as he was fondly called comes after the community board in the area approved the name changing at a public hearing on June 20.

The initiative for the recognition was undertaken by the Indian Diaspora Council International (IDC) which petitioned the board for the name changing as a form of recognition for Kali. It was ably supported by the elected members of the area and the community at large.

President of ICD, Ashook Ramsaran, who spearheaded the name changing effort, announced the approval of the initiative last Thursday. Ramsaran said the co-naming of one block of 169th Street between Highland Avenue and Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, New York, will be called “Kali Way” in honor of the late Ramesh D. Kalicharran, affectionately known as “Kali”. He said the approval came after a public hearing of Community Board #8 on June 20, 2018.

Ramesh D. Kalicharran was born 1949 in Guyana and lived in New York since 1970. He passed away on December 3, 2017 in Jamaica, Queens.

 An IDC statement noted that Kali was a prominent and well recognized cornerstone of the community where he lived. He pioneered several programs and events which promoted the interests of Indo-Caribbean and South Asian people in New York and the Caribbean.

The statement also indicated that Kali was widely recognized for his advocacy, philanthropy and exemplary contributions to charitable and community causes, and for his exemplary contributions to his community and the promotion of Indian culture and heritage. It went on:

“Mr. Kalicharran was an icon among Indo-Caribbean people with a long-lasting legacy of selfless service. He was an extraordinary community leader who led by example”.

In recognition of his tremendous contribution to the Guyana diaspora, Kali received several citations and awards from Asian-Indian, the Indo-Caribbean, and Other Ethnic American communities in New York. In particular, Kali was a proud ambassador of the Guyanese and Indo-Caribbean people”.

Ramsaran worked diligently and collaboratively with elected officials and community board members in getting this initiative approved. He obtained approval of NYC Council Member Rory Lancman on January 9, 2018 followed by several other elected officials, including NYS Assembly Member David Weprin who issued a posthumous proclamation to recognize and honor “Kali” for his work. Crucial organizational support was given on January 14, 2018 by Mid-Queens Community Council (MQCC) followed by formal application to Queens Comm. Board #8 (CB#8) on January 17, 2018.

Following a formal presentation to CB#8 Transportation Committee by Ramsaran on April 26, 2018 attended by Ms. Romanee Kalicharran (daughter of late Ramesh Kalicharran) and Mr. Santram Dukhbhanjan, treasurer of IDC, the CB#8 Transportation Committee gave its unanimous approval. Following presentation by family, community leaders and associates at the public hearing on May 14, 2018, CB#8 Transportation Committee gave its further approval paving the way for the general meeting on June 20, 2018 at which passage of the application was approved by a vote of 24 to 7 in favour.

Speakers in support of the application at the public hearing on June 20, 2018 were: Romanee Kalicharran (daughter) accompanied by Judith Kalicharran (spouse); Rev. Seopaul Singh (Caribbean Network Enterprises); Anoop Dhanpat (Trinidadians & Tobagonians in USA); Harbachan Singh (Queens Civic Congress; Ashook Ramsaran (Indian Diaspora Council). Other family members and supporters attended.

 Following the step-by-step progress and successes to date and with no opposition, the application is expected to be fully approved and then installation shortly thereafter.