About Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) (September 18, 1900 - December 15, 1985) GCMG, LRCP, MRCS, often referred to as “Chacha Ramgoolam”(uncle), was a Mauritian politician, statesman and philanthropist. He was a leader in the Mauritian independence movement, and served as the first Chief Minister and Prime Minister of Mauritius, as well as its sixth Governor General. SSR fought for the rights of labourers and led Mauritius to independence in 1968. As Mauritius' first Prime Minister, he played a crucial role in shaping modern Mauritius’ government, political culture and foreign policy. He worked for the emancipation of the Mauritian population, established free universal education and free health care services, and introduced old age pensions. He is known as the "Father of the Nation".
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, known as Kewal as a child, was born on 18 September 1900 at Belle Rive, Mauritius, in the district of Flacq.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam served as Chief Minister from 1961 to 1968, he was knighted on 12th June 1965. He became Prime Minister from 1968 until 1982 and lastly as Governor General from 1983 to 1985. He is known as the "Father of the Nation". Amidst much decolonisation, he led Mauritius to independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.
He died in office, on 15 December 1985, at the State House due to health complications. His funeral rites were performed at the then Pamplemousses Botanical Garden on 17th December 1985.
In memory of SSR, various streets in Mauritius and public places bear the name of SSR, as well as his portrait on every Mauritian coin and on the highest note tender of Rs2,000.
It was on these lines that the Pamplemousses Botanical garden was renamed after this illustrious son of Mauritius as Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic garden on the 18th September 1988. A funerary monument has been erected at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden on the exact place where the Father of the Nation was cremated according to the Hindu tradition.