Ravi’s body arrives today
By ANDRE BAGOO Saturday, September 28 2013
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AFTER GRADUATION: Ravindra Ramrattan after graduating from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2009. This photo was posted on a special Tumblr web...
AS HIS body is today expected to arrive in Trinidad, the co-workers of Ravindra Ramrattan will today gather 7,000 miles away in Kenya, to hold a memorial and “Caribbean-themed party” to say goodbye to the 30-year-old they had all hoped would have survived the terrorist attack on Nairobi last week.
Ramrattan worked as a research economist with Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, an independent trust established to support the development of “inclusive financial markets” in Kenya.
In a statement issued to Newsday yesterday, FSD Kenya spokesperson Dancan Muhindi said the firm was “devastated” by the loss and described the 2002 President’s Medal winner as “exceptionally brilliant”.
“As you may well imagine, the FSD family has been devastated by his senseless killing at the hands of terrorists,” Muhindi said. The spokesperson said Ramrattan’s co-workers were informed of the developments on Monday and disclosed that they held a commemoration service in his honour at FSD’s offices at Mara Road, Upper Hill, Kenya, and will hold another memorial service today. That service is to be followed by a “Caribbean-themed” party, “in the true Ravi spirit.”
“Ravi’s last moments as we’ve come to learn, were inside the Nakumatt Supermarket at the Westgate mall,” Muhindi said. “His friends and colleagues had held out hope that he would be one of the hostages to come out alive from the weekend siege, but this was not to be. The tragic news of his demise was communicated to his shocked colleagues early on Monday morning.”
“Grieving FSD staff met on Tuesday September 24, 2013 for a commemoration service in his honour at our offices. Subsequently, plans were put in place in collaboration with his friends to hold another memorial service to celebrate his life this Saturday here in Nairobi.”
The spokesperson for the company — which has been assisting officials on arrangements to have Ramrattan’s body returned — said the body was flown out of Kenya on Thursday night and is due to arrive at Port-of-Spain today (yesterday). “Ravi’s body was flown out of Kenya Thursday to London before going to Port-of-Spain.
The body is expected to arrive in Trinidad on September 28 just after 3 pm. We continue to stand with his family and friends from around the world at this difficult time,” Muhindi said. Ramrattan’s co-workers have set up an internet Tumblr website, called “Remembering Ravi”, where they have posted photos, and tributes to him.
In one photo post, Mary Lugano writes: “Ravi, I will always remember your warm and welcoming spirit, your bear hugs and your generosity, especially with shots. I only really knew the Caribbean side. You were one of the people that I wished I knew more. Your joy and love of life will keep your memory alive in my heart!”
In another post, Aden Van Noppen, recalls a 2011 Halloween party at Nairobi. She says: “Ravi saved that Halloween for me. Halloween is my favourite holiday, and I was depressed that no one dressed up for the Halloween party in Nairobi…until Ravi walked in with a hilarious outfit and declared that he was a leopard.”
She continues, “Not surprisingly, Ravi showed up all the Americans on our own holiday! Compared to many who are mourning this terrible loss, I barely knew Ravi. But he left a big impression on me. Especially his brilliance and his infectious smile. Ravi lived life like one continuous celebration. He was so warm, kind, and damn funny. Ravi was an inspiration to all of us who knew him. He was taken far too soon, and the world is a worse place because he is no longer with us.”
The electronic invitation to today’s memorial in Kenya for Ravi’s co-workers reads: “Please join us in Nairobi this Saturday for a celebration of Ravi’s life. We will be sharing stories, photos, and memories that highlight what an amazing individual Ravi was, and how he touched and brightened all of our lives. The event will be followed by a Caribbean-Indian themed party, in the true Ravi spirit.”
Ramrattan had been a Research Economist with FSD Kenya since September 2011, the FSD spokesperson said, focusing “around impact analysis at project and systemic levels and managing specific on-going initiatives such as the FinAccess survey and centre for research on branchless banking.”
“Ravi was an exceptionally brilliant young professional, very hard working and genuinely dedicated to the alleviation of poverty in Kenya through his work,” Muhindi said.
The Kenya Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) programme, FSD Kenya, was established in early 2005 to support the development of financial markets in Kenya as a means to stimulate wealth creation and reduce poverty. Working in partnership with the financial services industry the programme’s goal is to significantly expand access to services among lower income households and smaller scale enterprises. FSD operates as an independent Trust under the supervision of professional trustees, with policy guidance from a programme investment committee (PIC). Finance is provided by a number of development partners working with the government of Kenya.