• 24 Jun, 2024

Dr. Vishnu Bisram, outstanding Guyanese in the Diaspora gets recognition from US President, but not given similar high honour in his own country

Dr. Vishnu Bisram, outstanding Guyanese in the Diaspora gets recognition from US President, but not given similar high honour in his own country

Dr. Vishnu Bisram, outstanding Guyanese in the Diaspora gets recognition from US President, but not given similar high honour in his own country

Distinguished Guyanese in the Diaspora, Dr. Vishnu Bisram - scholar, writer and political activist - has just received a lifetime achievement award from the Office of the US President Joseph Biden and AmeriCorps for lifelong voluntary services in the United States of America. This follows on the heels of another recent recognition from India in January 2023 where Dr. Bisram was bestowed the Bharatvaashi Gaurav Samman Award in New Delhi which is the highest award by an NGO (Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad/ Indian Council for International Cooperation) given to PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) or NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) alike for their outstanding service towards India, the Indian diaspora and other countries. On January 26, 2023, President Dr. Irfaan Ali of Guyana presented Dr. Bisram at the Indian High Commission in Guyana during its Republic Day celebrations with an award for contributions to media, culture and academia.

 

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According to a recent Guyana Stabroek News article (“Vishnu Bisram recognised by US President for voluntary work,” SN, June 7, 2023), Dr Bisram has logged over 45 years as a volunteer in the USA primarily among Guyanese, Trinidadians and other Caribbean people and South Asians. In addition, he spent a considerable amount of time in Guyana, Trinidad, India and other countries performing voluntary services and promoting American democratic values. He has worked closely as a volunteer with various neighbourhood groups, politicians, and Guyanese organizations. He has been volunteer reporter covering events pertaining to various diaspora groups.

 

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Dr Bisram went to the USA in 1977 to pursue tertiary education. Ever since his arrival, he has been engaged in volunteerism — organizing Guyanese, Caribbean, and South Asian people in NYC. He has also volunteered his time for political activities including campaigning for politicians — for the USA presidency, New York State (NYS) Gubernatorial races, Congress, NYS Assembly and Senate, NYC council and Queens Borough among others. He volunteered on the campaigns of Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and other presidential candidates. Dr Bisram taught various courses in the natural and social sciences for over forty years in the US. He volunteered time tutoring youngsters gratis and working with seniors in Richmond Hill and food pantries to aid the less fortunate.

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One Guyanese remarked that while Dr. Bisram is well recognized and respected abroad as an outstanding Guyanese, the Guyana Government has not similarly recognized him in any big way, despite all its talk about Diaspora engagement. Many felt he would have been a good nominee for the still vacant High Commissioner to India post, as he is well known in India and has numerous attachments and networks there. Dr. Bisram brings enormous experience and exposure across the world and can be an enormous asset to the Government of Guyana if they chose to engage him in appropriate areas of service. Just recently, Dr. Bisram’s election poll for the Local Government Election in Guyana predicted accurately that the PPP would win an “avalanche” victory with 75% of the seats to the PNC’s 22%. As has been said, “ A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Jerry Jailall