Officials in Queens, New York, recently honored an influential community member by naming the 133rd Street and Liberty Avenue junction Pandit Ramlall Way.
Caribbean Life reports that the Richmond Hill Queens community recently paid tribute to Ramlall, the late founder of the Annual Phagwah (Holi) parade, community advocate and scholar.
With Pandit Ramlall Way, Ramlall’s life, legacy and contributions will forever be remembered.
Guyanese-born, Dharmacharya Pandit Ramlall, who also founded the Diwali Motoracade and the Aryal Spiritual Center of New York, a stones-throw from the intersection, was remembered as someone who lived an extraordinary life filled with purpose, the report said.
Councilmember Adrienne Adams said the street sign honoring the spiritual leader’s legacy “is a fitting tribute for the leader who contributed so much to the cultural, spiritual, and educational fabric of our city,” according to a news release.
“As we celebrated the unveiling of Pandit Ramlall Way, the sun was as brilliant as our illustrious Nana (Grandfather). May his name and legacy forever inspire thinking minds and determined characters,” said Nivedita Balgobin, the granddaughter of Pandit Ramlall, at the unveiling ceremony.
“The unveiling of Pandit Ramlall Way was a tremendous celebratory moment among the Guyanese population in Richmond Hill area in honor of a community advocate and religious icon, the report said,” added Ashook Ramsaran, chair of the Pandit Ramlall Way Unveiling Committee.
“I am deeply moved by the historic naming of Pandit Ramlall Way after a revered Hindu faith leader. The Hindu values of karma yoga (selfless action) and satyagraha (soul force) guided me to embrace this life of public service,” said New York Indian American state Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar, according to the report.
Ramlall was born on Feb. 28, 1928, in Guyana to Indian parents. He migrated to the United States in 1974 and settled in Queens. He continued his studies and received both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in education at Rochelle College.
He worked for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation in a leadership role, and served as a representative for Social Service Employees Union Local 371, a civil service union. Ramlall later served as a volunteer chaplain of the New York City Transit Authority and secretary of the Queens Interfaith Council, the Caribbean Life said.
He was a Vedic scholar who wrote several books, the report added. He was an educator, and motivational speaker. In January 2005, he was honored by the India International Friendship Society with the “Bharat Gaurav” Award at a ceremony in Mumbai, India, the report said.
He won several other awards in the United States, and Canada. Ramlall died on Jan. 26, 2019 at 90 years old.