It was shocking to hear of the sudden demise of Mr Khemraj Ramdeehul, my uncle (Poupa), aged 97 years, as we were hoping he would be the first centenarian in the family, given his good health and demeanour. But alas, fate decided otherwise. He left peacefully his beloved ones on Saturday 24 March 2018, at his residence in Triolet where he spent his whole life.
Mr Khemraj Ramdeehul was born on 15 March 1921 in Triolet, and he was the only son of a family of six. His father, Juddoonanun, was a well-known figure of Triolet and his mother was Dawokee Seegobin, sister of Dr J. Seegobin former hospital superintendent. In 1952, he married Anjanee, my aunty (Poupou), daughter of Mr Kooseal Boodhoo (my paternal grandfather), a well-known jeweller of La Chaussée Street, Port Louis. He was happily married for 65 years and had two caring sons: Naveen, the elder is a pharmacist in Edinburgh for over 40 years, and also the Honorary Consul of Mauritius in Scotland. Amal, the younger son is a Medical Doctor in Harrogate, Leeds, UK. He enjoyed spending time with his four grandchildren when he visited them in the UK.
Mr Ramdeehul had a brilliant and successful career in the Mauritian public sector, particularly as a primary school teacher (14 years), a probation officer (8 years), District Welfare Officer (7 years), Social Welfare Supervisor (4 years), Senior Village Development Officer (4 years) before he joined the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund as its General Manager in 1978. He was awarded a British Council scholarship to follow a postgraduate diploma in Social Policy and Administration at the University College of Swansea (1965-1966). He continued to enhance his knowledge by following an international course on small-scale industries promotion in developing economies at the Small Industry Extension Training Institute, Hyderabad, India, in 1975. He retired in 1980 after nearly 40 years of loyal service and dedication to the country (1943 -1980). He contributed enormously to the socio economic development of the country through his able membership in various national committees such as the Council of Social Service (1978), Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, Advisory Committee (1975), Vice Chairman of Board of Mauritius Film Censors (1968). He was one of the founders of Triolet Village Council which was set up in February 1946 and which he served for 16 years (1946-1962). In recognition of his services rendered to the community in Mauritius, he was awarded the MBE, member of the British in 1988. He thoroughly enjoyed reading and had a good sense of humour and was very often invited to give lectures on social work at the School of Administration, University of Mauritius, social welfare centres, police departments, in various schools in the north of the island and also youth clubs. He was active even after retirement and was the chairman of the board of visitors of the Mauritius Prison Service Correctional Youth Centre between 1996-1998. He was awarded the community policing citizen medal for community policing in Triolet and Pamplemousses locality in Sept 1996.
Mr Khemraj Ramdeehul has dedicated his whole life to social activities, been helpful to his family and relatives, his fellow inhabitants of Triolet, the government and his beloved country. He served them all with dedication and loyalty. But the truth is that he was a humble man and lived a simple life with strong moral and ethical values which guided his whole life, though he may have had his shortcomings. His absence will inevitably be deeply felt by his family and friends in Mauritius and elsewhere. He has dedicated his whole life to social activities, been helpful to his family and relatives, his fellow inhabitants of Triolet, the government and his beloved country. He served them all with dedication and loyalty.