Prominent community leader Ramesh Patel, Chairman of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut passed away on June 6th at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey. He was under treatment for Covid-10 complications for over two months. Patel, 78, is survived by his wife Sucheta, son Suvas and daughters Manisha and Kunjal.
Along with his community service, Patel worked in the forensic investigation division of the New York Police Department and was honored with the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2013.
Patel served as President of the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) from 1992 to 1996 and as its Chairman from 1996 to 1998. While serving as President of FIA (1988-1990), Patel assisted in the NFIA organized First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin, held in New York in 1989, where Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was formed.
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, the Founder Member and Chairperson of Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), after 2-month long fight against COVID-19. A highly respected Indian American Community leader, we will miss him very much. RIP!” Sandhu tweeted.
India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty tweeted that Patel’s death is 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,” Chakravorty tweeted.
Patel’s passing “leaves a void too big to be filled,” FIA president Anil Bansal said. Bansal described Patel as a kind, supportive and strong person who guided the FIA for the past 50 years with his dynamic leadership and vision. “Our most sincere condolences to the family and prayers for peace.”
NFIA President Angela Anand said, “NFIA family is saddened to learn the passing away of Ramesh Patel, a fixture of India Independence Day parade on the streets of New York with film personalities as parade marshal with lot of pomp and show,”
“His legacy will live on and his contributions to India and Indian Americans of this country will be remembered for a long time to come – a vacuum requiring dedication by several which he did year after year with little help from others in fund raising to make the event successful, “ Anand added.
GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham said, “Ramesh should be credited with highly successful India Day Parade in New York City, year after year, from the late 1980s.”
“There are only very few community leaders in the USA who have over forty years of continuous community service and we will miss him in our community campaign and service activities,” Dr. Abraham added.
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