• 07 Feb, 2023

Justice Frank Seepersad Conferred with Pravasi Bharatiya samman Award

Justice Frank Seepersad Conferred with Pravasi Bharatiya samman Award

Justice Frank Seepersad Conferred with Pravasi Bharatiya samman Award

Justice Frank Arthur Seepersad was on January 10 afternoon conferred with India’s highest civilian award given to an Indian in the diaspora, the Bharatiya Pravasi Samman that was initiated by the BJP government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. It is an honor given to Indians or an organization based overseas who (or that) has distinguished themselves in service or in achievement. The awardee is selected by a panel of eminent government and non-government members based in India. The ceremony is held every two years since 2015, prior to which it was held annually since January 2003.


This year’s 27 recipients were chosen by a jury-cum-awards committee chaired by the vice-president with the External affairs minister S Jaishankar as the vice-chair of the panel, whose other members are drawn from various walks of life.
Justice Seepersad, called to the judgeship some 15 years ago as the youngest judge at the time, was honored for community welfare and achievement. He follows in the footsteps of former prime ministers Basdeo Panday, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Dr Lenny Saith, Winston Dookeran, and the National Council of Indian Culture. This was the 17th edition of the honor that started in January 2003. January 9th and 10th were selected for a diaspora program because it coincided with the date in 1914 when Mohandas Gandhi returned to India from Durban, South Africa to wage the struggle for Indian’s independence that occurred in 1947.   


The President of India, Shrimati Droupadi Murmu, conferred the award to Justice Seepersad and twenty-six other diasporans that included the President of Surinam and President of Guyana. President Murmu said that the Indian Diaspora has become an important and unique force in the global system. She noted that it has grown in strength to some 32 million and into an energetic and confident community in every region of the globe and is making stellar contributions to world affairs in leadership positions and development.

The awards ceremony was held in Indore, India following speeches the day before by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Presidents Santokie and Ali of Suriname and Guyana respectively.. Justice Seepersad, joined on the trip to the land of his fore-parents by his mother Champa, wife Camille, daughter, Amanda, sister Carol Seepersad-Maharaj. Several other nationals of Trinidad, Guyana, and Surinam graced the occasion. 

Dr Vishnu Bisram

Dr. Vishnu Bisram is Guyanese born who received his primary and secondary education in Guyana and tertiary education in the US and India. He is a holder of multiple degrees in the natural sciences, social sciences, and education. He taught for over forty years in the US. He is a specialist on the Indian diaspora traveling globally to research and write about Indian communities.