By Amar Ramessar and Ashley Kooblall
Education plays a profound role in shaping tomorrows’ leaders. Through this medium, the status quo of a nation becomes more informed by attaining the skills necessary to be productive members of a civilized society.
Our world is constantly changing and it requires a society that is well versed in understanding the problems deriving from culture differences and tolerance of one another’s beliefs and perceptions.
This was one of the many causes, the late Shri Prakash Gossai, a Guyanese Hindu Missionary, who is often regarded as one of the architects of Modern Hinduism in the Caribbean, propagated during his many sermons in Guyana and abroad. He strongly felt that both secular and non secular education is a vital cornerstone for the upliftment of the human kind.
To ensure that the vision and great legacy of this respected Hindu missionary are upheld, the Shri Prakash Gossai foundation and Bhuvaneshwar Mandir in Queens, New York have decided to issue the inaugural Shri Prakash Gossai academic scholarship to a Guyanese child so that he/she can be able to achieve their academic dreams as well as to pursue their careers.
What was initially designed to be one scholarship per year was later increased to two.
Students registered at the University of Guyana were invited to submit their applications during the period September 01 -30 September 2017.
All applications were carefully reviewed by the board of Bhuvaneshwar Mandir in New York and after careful consideration; Chitramattie Dhanraj and Tiffany Kamani Ramotar were announced as the 2017 2018 awardees. Each has received a cheque of $200,000.00, for the year 2017 – 2018.
Ms. Ramotar is 16 years old and is a first year student at the University of Guyana, registered for an Associate Degree in Biology. She is a resident of Crane, on the West Coast of Demerara.
Tiffany was extremely elated upon getting the news that she was one of the awardees and indicated that she is extremely thankful for the scholarship since it will certainly relieve the financial strains that has been placed on her grandparents who are pensioners to ensure that her university education is a success.
The second recipient of the Shri Prakash Gossai and Bhuvaneshwar Mandir academic scholarship is 19 years old Chitramattie Dhanraj, of Cornelia Ida on the West Coast of Demerara, currently reading for a one year programme in International Relations. She is hoping to get into the Law programme in the near future.
The alluded that it is hard to put in words how grateful both her parents and herself are for the scholarship, which no doubt has ignited her academic journey and career.
Head of the Humanitarian Mission at Bhuvaneshwar Mandir New York, Mr. Danny Basil indicated that “he feels very honored and privileged to serve this exceptional soul, who came from little opportunities like many of us, excelled in all areas and revered by millions around the world. Prakashji many times in his discourses emphasized the importance of religion, culture and education. He said for one to be successful, they must practice these three elements. With that vision, this academic scholarship is definitely one way of promoting his teachings and maintaining his legacy”.
Mr. Basil said he is elated to joined with his families, the executives and members of the Bhuvaneshwar mandir (N.Y.) to wish the first two recipients of the Shri Prakash Gossai academic Scholarship award all the very best as they seek higher education.
Son of the late Prakash Gossai, Acharya Arun Gossai alluded that the Shri Prakash Gossai academic Scholarship program recognizes exceptional growing faces of the future who strive for spiritual, cultural, and academic excellence — three key components Shri Prakash Gossai believed was necessary for a balanced and successful life.
Hailing from Handsome Tree, Mahaica Creek, Shri Prakash Gossai worked diligently to bridge his intense commitment to culture and spiritual unfoldment while excelling academically, graduating as the University of Guyana’s Best Student in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
To encourage others with the same quintessential drive to make valuable contributions to their communities, this scholarship awards students with solid dedication to reaching academic heights and serving others.
In honor of outstanding academic performance, Pratiksha and Arun Gossai, together with The Bhuvaneshwar Mandir of Queens New York kindly present CHITRAMATTIE DHANRAJ and TIFFANY RAMOTAR with this scholarship award for distinction.
We wish them excellence in their academic pursuits at the University of Guyana.