Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Businessman and philanthropist Pokar Chandiram is dead

Published:Saturday | December 2, 2017 | 2:37 PM

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 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 in 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". 

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.

Among the institutions and organisations that have benefited from a lifetime of generosity of time, talent, spirit and silent financial contribution are: The Salvation Army; Food for the Poor (Foundation Member); Mona Rehabilitation Centre; The Brothers of the Poor); The Golden Age Home; The Mustard Seed Communities; The Missionary Sisters of Charity (Blessed Theresa of Calcutta); The Laws Street Trade Training Centre; The Handicapped Christian Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT); The Special Olympics Committee; Rotary Service Club, St Georges Old Boys Association, Campion College, Club India and many others. He received awards from most of the organisations to which he was associated including over his many years.

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. 
Chandiram was 83 years old.