Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ravi a stellar human being
It pained me immensely to learn of the death of Mr Ravindra Ramrattan. Such a brilliant and compassionate young Trinidadian, making a meaningful mark in the world, only to be cut down at the hands of the religious zealots in Kenya. After reading a newspaper commentary on Mr Ramrattan, I felt compelled to also write about this great human being, who should be a role model for all of us. I did not know him personally but my life has an uncanny number of parallels with his and I wish I could have met him. I too come from a humble background, winning an Open Scholarship in 1989 and completing two post-grad degrees. Like Ravi, I too, felt compelled to put the educational fortune afforded to me by my parents and the government to good use, by giving back to the less fortunate.
I currently live in Tanzania, right next door to Kenya, having spent most of the last two years volunteering in the education sector in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Over the past decade I have also run several marathons and half marathons on four continents to raise money for many charitable causes such as infant mortality and empowerment of women entrepreneurs. I too, have generally eschewed the corporate rat race and material quest that most of our scholars and young people seem to be caught up in, albeit to the chagrin of many family members and friends.
It is a shame that such a brilliant, vibrant and stellar human being such as Ravi had to leave us so soon. Despite my great sadness at his passing, it heartens me immensely to know that there are still selfless and altruistic individuals left in our society.
He is my hero and role model and has emboldened me to continue my path here in east Africa. His tragic death in Kenya should not discourage others from coming to Sub-Saharan Africa to volunteer and work towards improving the health and livelihoods of the underprivileged. I hope Ravi’s parents know that they raised a remarkable human being, and they should be proud of how he chose to live his life and his accomplishments. Rest in peace, my friend.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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