Anand Ramsewak: A Karma Yogi par excellence


The sad demise of Anand Ramsewak on Friday 19th May after a long illness is a great loss for our society.

Born on 16 September 1950 Anand (Parmesswur) Ramsewak, originally from Riviere Du Poste, came with his family to settle in Port Louis at Pouce Street, Tranquebar. He had his education in Port Louis. Those were the days of the vibrant Seva Shivir which he joined as a youth of fifteen, and under the spell of the towering Swami Krishnanandji Maharaj – founder of the dynamic youth movement – carrying out non-stop social activities with fervour throughout the island.

There was a need to give a sense of direction to post independence youth. Anand literally grew up under the shadow of the Swami and imbibed the preachings among which the main one was “Service of Humanity is Service to God”. He epitomized this saying and the motto of Seva Shivir – Seva Satsang and Sangathan – to the bone and marrow till his last breath. There was a moment when the Swami wanted him by his side all the time, but Harish and I insisted and saw to it that he got a university education, because life is precarious. He thus became an Economist at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and later Ministry of Economic Development, Productivity and Regional Co-operation where he served dutifully till his retirement.

But more than that he was a committed social activist and was one of the foremost leaders of the Seva Shivir movement. His mind was always brimming with ideas and projects. He had among his pet projects the creation of an Eye Hospital in the South. Unfortunately due to his deteriorating health he could not pursue the project till fruition. We may safely say that he neglected his health for the good cause of service to humanity.

Anand ran across the length and the breadth of Mauritius actively engaged in and supporting the Seva Shivir in its leadership camps around the island, its intense campaigns of mobilization and uplift of the poor and under-privileged, the huge Brihad Holi Mela at Champ de Mars, in March 1973, Port Louis, his eye care project specially for the poor and deprived, the Deen Bandhu Samaj, the Seva Shivir Cow-Keepers’ Co-operative Society Movement with Jugdish Goburdhun, today Mauritius High Commissioner in New Delhi. He imbibed the lead Prayer of Seva Shivir- “Waha Shakti hamein do daya nidhe, kartavya marg par dat jayein par sewa par upkar mein ham, jag jiwan saphal bana jayein” (Give us that strength God to follow dutifully our path in the service of man and make life a successful venture) in his heart and mind. He indeed exemplified “Nishkam karma yoga” (Selfless service without expectation of reward) of the Bhagvad Gita. Anand was a Karma Yogi par excellence.

We pay our tribute to such a dedicated soul to the cause of humanity and our most sincere condolences to his wife, Dr Sunita Ramsewak, his sons Dr Ravi Ramsewak and Alok, a medical student, the bereaved Ramsewak, Jaypal, Neewoor and Domah families as well as all shivirarthis.

Sarita Boodhoo

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