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A Tribute to 2004 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Laxminarayan Ramdas

Apr 17, 2024
10 min read

The Board of Trustees, Officers, and Staff of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and relatives of Laxminarayan Ramdas, 2004 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Peace and International Understanding from India.

Ramdas, a former Navy Chief Admiral, passed away on March 15, 2024 at the Military Hospital in Secunderabad, India at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife, Lalita Ramdas, three daughters, their spouses, and three grandchildren.


Laxminarayan Ramdas leads the flag hoisting in Talwade Primary School on 26 January 2000

He was not only a staunch advocate for peace but also a leading proponent of gender equality in the military. Under his leadership as navy chief, the armed forces of India began inducting women as short-service commissioned officers, marking a significant step towards gender inclusivity. The navy, under his guidance, became the first service to embrace this transformative change.

Despite being a former navy chief and a war hero, Admiral Ramdas dedicated his life to advocating for peace, disarmament, and dialogue, particularly between India and Pakistan after his retirement. He co-founded the Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy, serving as the chairperson of the India chapter. Their tireless efforts and citizen-based consensus building were instrumental in fostering understanding across hostile borders.

In 2004, Ramdas, together with Ibn Abdur Rehman of Pakistan, received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for “their reaching across a hostile border to nurture a citizen-based consensus for peace between Pakistan and India.”


Laxminarayan Ramdas (left) and Ibn Abdur Rehman (center) receiving the medallion during the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Presentation Ceremonies held August 31, 2004. Handing the Ramon Magsaysay Award to them is Juan B. Santos, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation Chairman (right).

Though he may have departed from this world, his spirit lives on in the hearts of those who strive for a more peaceful and just world.