From Our Correspondent
The first Bharatvanshi Gaurav Samman comprising a citation, a shawl, a memento and Rs. one lakh in cash was presented to Shri Ranjith Ramnarain of South Africa in New Delhi on October 25, 2005 by His Excellency Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius.
Bharatvanshi Gaurav Samman has been instituted by the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad Nyas, a public charitable trust created in 1996 by Shri Baleshwar Agrawal, secretary general of Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad (ARSP) with the objective, inter alia, to promote goodwill and understanding with the people of the world in general and Bharatvanshis (PIOs and NRIs) in particular. The Nyas had decided to honour every year, a person who has dedicated himself to the service and cause of Indian diaspora.
The award ceremony commenced with a welcome address by Shri Agrawal, who is also the President of the Nyas. In his brief address he dealt with the genesis of the Trust and the award. According to Shri Agrawal 13 persons had been nominated for the award and Shri Ranjith Ramnarain had been chosen by selection committee comprising eminent personalities who had excelled themselves in their respective fields and disciplines in India and abroad.
Even at the pinnacle of glory Shri Ramnarain had kept his feet firmly on the ground never forgetting the trials and tribulations he had gone through.
Shri Lakhan Lal Mehrotra, Nyas Chairman, who presided over the function, highlighted the achievements of Shri Ranjith Ramnarain. Shri Ramnarain turned his adversity into an opportunity and by his hard work had risen to be one of South Africa'stop industrialists and long distance road transport operator.
However, even at the pinnacle of glory Shri Ramnarain had kept his feet firmly on the ground never forgetting the trials and tribulations he had gone through. He could understand the pain of the have- nots and therefore, has established trusts to provide food to the hungry and education to the needy.
Presenting the award, Hon?ble Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam narrated the hardships the people of Indian origin had faced as indentured labour in various countries. In this connection he recalled the example of his own grandfather, who had gone through similar torrid and harassing times as Shri Ranjith Ramnarain. Dr. Ramgoolam exhorted people to emulate the example of Shri Ramnarain to work hard and not succumb to the given difficulties. He congratulated ARSP and Shri Baleshwar Agrawal for the excellent work done in undertaking variety of steps to bring out the problems of Indian Diaspora with suggested solutions and the new initiatives.
Shri Ranjith Ramnarain thanked the Nyas and ARSP for honour bestowed upon him. He said that it was the destiny that was providing him funds for giving it to the needy and that he was only a conduit. The current award will further increase his ability to do so. The function was attended by high dignitaries including Ministers of the Mauritius Republic, diplomats of Mauritius, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal, senior officials of the Government of India etc.