He was also awarded the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman(PBS) Award, the highest civilian award bestowed upon overseas Indians by the Government of India in January 2019. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is an award constituted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India (GoI), in conjunction with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day), to honour exceptional and meritorious contribution in their chosen field/profession. The Award carries a bilingual Sanad under the hand and the seal of the President of India in addition to a citation and a gold medallion.
An ecstatic Mr. Chotai, upon receiving the honour, said, “I am delighted and humbled to receive the Parvasi Bharati Saman from the President of India, H.E Ram Nath Kovind ji. I am very thankful to the community and particularly to my wife Krishna Chotai, a woman who stood beside me in this journey of community service”.
Importantly, the Canada India Foundation had nominated Mr. Chotai for the award. According to Mr. Anil Shah, Chair, CIF, “Ramesh Chotai epitomizes the strength of the Indian diaspora in Canada. He has selflessly and sincerely worked for the Indo-Canadian community for nearly five decades. He deserves this honour and we are proud of his achievement”.
Mr. Ramesh Chotai, is the President of Bromed Pharmaceuticals, has also travelled a long and winding road. He was born in Northern Uganda, and then pursued his education in Britain. He pursued his education as Pharmacist in the UK and Switzerland and joined ICI Pharmaceuticals in Kampala, Uganda. Mr. Chotai, is a co-founder of Canada India Foundation (CIF) and under the auspice of CIF many successfully entrepreneurs joined to champion the bi-lateral trade relations and sector-based public policies between Canada and India. Mr. Chotai was CIF’s Chair during 2009-2011 and under his leadership, many strategic initiatives were organized such as Canada India Energy Forum and Canada India Mining and Metals Forum. He was also the Co-chair of Canada India Health Care Summit which was held both in Canada and India. As a Community builder and a philanthropist, he is the past President of the Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre. Mr. Chotai, is the Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization, President of Vraj Canada Community Centre and Canada Serves.
Importantly, in 2001, Mr. Chotai was instrumental to raise $1.6 million in three weeks for Gujarat Earthquake relief and it created a partnership with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to match $3.2 million to build 802 homes, 32 schools, 4 community center and 4 medical mobile clinics in the earthquake-ravaged areas in Gujarat.
He is among the super rich Indo-Canadians and such details entail that he is not only financially rich, but also rich in spirit and heart.