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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Fund to help needy students
The work of Ravindra Ramrattan, who was killed during a terrorist attack on a mall in Kenya earlier this year, will affect millions of Africans, British High Commissioner Arthur Snell has said. Snell was at the time addressing the launch of the Ravi Ramrattan Award and Fund during the Presentation College Alumni Association’s annual banquet and awards ceremony at Gaston Courts, Chaguanas, on Saturday.
Ramrattan, 30, the 2002 President’s Medal winner and former Oxford scholar, was among 68 people killed in a terrorist attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 21. Ramrattan, a graduate of Presentation College, Chaguanas, had been working in Kenya for the last four years as research economist with Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, an independent trust established to support the development of inclusive financial markets in the African nation.
He was at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi when masked Islamic militants carried out their attack, killing innocent civilians. Ramrattan’s body was found the next day. Snell said FSD was geared at improving the lives of the people of East Africa and solving some of the country’s problems. “Imagine a world in which one of the cleverest young men ever born was putting all of his intellectual weight into solving some of these problems,” he said.
“And just this evening I had the privilege of speaking to Ravi’s father about some of the work Ravi had done both with FSD and, prior to that, in the sugar industry in Kenya and simple changes that could be made such as a farmer receiving a payment four times a year instead once a year and that change in somebody’s life, that can change a family’s life. “Of course, that will change the lives of a whole village, maybe a whole town, a whole city...this work goes on today.
“I was hearing today the theories and ideas that Ravi developed had been sought, not only for the city where he was working, but for the whole of Kenya, a country of 40 million people. Now they are thinking whether or not this idea should be brought to the whole of Africa.” Snell said the impact of Ravi’s upbringing and education had impacted the people of Africa.
“Ravi Ramrattan has left behind the change in the quality of the way of life for literally millions of people...It’s very, very hard to imagine how many people could do that,” he said. “Ravi, thank you, thanks for what you did for my country, for my country the UK. Thank you for what you did for Africa.” Parbattie Ramrattan, Ravi’s mother, described her son as a patriot and a humanitarian who gave all for the upliftment of humanity through his work.
Sending a word to the terrorist/s who killed her son, she said Islam was not about terror but about peace. Dr Anil Kamta, member of the PCC Alumni, said the award will be presented annually to any citizen who makes significant contributions to the improvement and or social development of the college. He said the fund is designed to financially provide to students whose families struggle silently to equip them with supplies for school and extra curricular activities. He said the fund has already accumulated $80,000.
The alumni also presented awards to Neil Chan, Selwyn Books, Simon Rostant and Boris Punch for their contribution to the institution.
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