From 'Coolie' to Prime Minister - the Ramgoolam Story

Moheeth RamgoolamFollowing in the footsteps of his elder brother, the teenage Moheeth Ramgoolam left the Saran district of Bihar to migrate to Mauritius in 1896.  He worked for a number of years on the Queen Victoria sugar estate in Flacq, Mauritius before becoming a sirdar.

Moheeth married a young widow, and their son, Kewal (later known as Seewoosagur Ramgoolam) was born of this union on 18 September 1900.  Seewoosagur attended secondary school in Mauritius and trained as a medical doctor in England.

Returning to Mauritius after an absence of a decade, Ramgoolam became an important member of the nascent Labour Party of Mauritius, and after the island was acceded independence in 1968, this son of Bihari ‘coolies’ was elected that nation’s first Prime Minister. Holding this position for a number of years, and overseeing the country’s emergence as a successful democratic post-colonial welfare state, Ramgoolam is widely revered as ‘chacha’, the father of the nation.