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Pokar Chandiram dies – Businessman, philanthropist celebrated for unselfish giving

Jamaica Gleaner / Pokar Chandiram, a man described as giving unstinting service to the class of the indigent, elderly and impoverished Jamaicans, has died.

The businessman, whose generosity benefited numerous Jamaican service clubs, was described as a “leading a life of giving unselfishly in service to the least among us”.

Chandiram, 83, was intimately involved with numerous charitable institutions and causes, both secular and religious.

Described as one of the pillars of the Catholic Church in Jamaica, he served the poor and disfranchised for more than 60 years. A founding member for The Handicapped Christian Pilgrimage Trust in Jamaica, he organised and funded visits to Lourdes, France, at Easter, where the apparition of the Virgin Mary took place in 1858. He accompanied several hundred of Jamaica’s handicapped children to Lourdes for 30 of the 32 consecutive years in which the pilgrimage has occurred, and has been witness to several healing miracles for which doctors have no medical explanation.

His son, Anup, described him as “serving without fanfare or label”, and as someone who dedicated his life to “giving and charitable work long before it was popular or deemed as a responsibility of the modern corporate paradigm”.

 

Motivated others  

His commitment and dedication to service encouraged and motivated others from all walks of life to continue and extend charitable works as a fundamental necessity for a better Jamaica.

“This has been his lasting gift to his fellow man and to Jamaica, for which we all need to give him recognition – unbounded philanthropy,” said Anup.

‘Mr Pokar’, as he was affectionately known, was a justice of the peace who gave his time generously to the “underprivileged” and the very often “forgotten” of the society; the countless days – measured in years – that he has devoted to the many organisations with which he has been involved, offering counsel and guidance and willingly bearing the responsibilities of chairman as often as he had been asked to do.

Chandiram was managing director of K. Chandiram Limited since 1979.

He served as a director of Berger Paints Jamaica, and also served as director of several boards in Jamaica.

He was an independent director of Berger Paints Jamaica Limited since 1994. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Medal for community work in 1993.

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