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Rich tributes paid to Ramesh Patel, the tallest community leader

By SATimes Team

New York:  The founder and Chairman of FIA (NY-NJ-CT) whose legacy of making India Day Parade in NYC the largest celebration of India’s independence outside the India will live on, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on June 6 from Covid-19 complications. 

Arguably the tallest leader of the Indian community leader in the USA for five decades, he  served the Indian diaspora selflessly and wholeheartedly through FIA (Federation of Indian Associations), National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA) and other regional/cultural organizations by serving at top positions.

Fondly known as ‘Kaka’ within the community, he also successfully led many a battle on behalf of the community and India, for example:

  • Retaining Family reunification bill in 1984
  • Successful fight against Dot-Busters in 1988
  • Successful and huge rally in Washington DC to stop Pakistan from getting advanced military equipment from the US.

India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu expressed condolences on the death of Patel: “Very sad to learn about the passing away of Ramesh Patel, Chairperson of FIA, after 2 month long fight against COVID-19. A highly respected Indian American Community leader, we will miss him very much. RIP!”

India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty called Patel’s death a big loss to the Indian American community: “A pioneer who brought together the Community & worked on many issues. I particularly value his strong support to the Consulate.”

HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, has offered prayers after learning of the passing of Indian community leader Ramesh Patel.

Patel’s passing “leaves a void too big to be filled,” FIA president Anil Bansal said. He described Patel as a kind, supportive and strong person who guided the FIA for the past 50 years with his dynamic leadership and vision.

Kamlesh Mehta, Chairman of The South Asian Times said, “The demise of Shri Rameshbhai Patel is a huge loss to the Indian American diaspora, he solely kept India shining for almost 50 years in the East Coast USA.” He pointed out that  to honor the dedication and visionary leadership of Ramesh Patel and contributions of the organization he built, “we featured  FIA as “The South Asian Times-Organization of the Year 2015”.  

Ramesh Patel worked in the forensic investigation division of the New York Police Department before retirement and was honored with the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2013.

Patel, 78, is survived by his wife Sucheta, son Suvas and daughters Manisha and Kunjal.

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