You are reading

Woodside street co-named in honor of B.R. Ambedkar, the father of India’s constitution

A Woodside street corner has been co-named after B.R. Ambedkar, a former Indian human rights leader who is often referred to as the father of the nation’s constitution (Photos: Wikicommons (L) and provided by Councilmember Julie Won (R))

June 26, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

A Woodside street corner has been co-named after a former Indian human rights leader who is often referred to as the father of the nation’s constitution.

The intersection of 61st Street and Broadway is now known as “Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Way,” named after Bhimrao Ramji (B.R) Ambedkar (1891 – 1956), who headed the committee that drafted the Constitution of India that was ratified in 1949. He also served as India’s law and justice minister.

Ambedkar was an economist, law expert and social reformer who dedicated his life to eradicating social inequality in India.

Ambedkar’s family were the original inhabitants of a state in the western region of India. They were poor and treated as “untouchables” or “Dalits” in the country’s caste system whereby they were subjected to socio-economic discrimination.

For instance, Ambedkar wrote that he and other untouchable children were segregated in schools and given little attention or help by teachers. They were not allowed to sit inside the class, and when they needed to drink water someone from a higher caste had to pour that water from a height as they were not allowed to touch either the water or the vessel that contained it.

Over the course of his life, Ambedkar led various social, labor, and agricultural reforms in the region in the fight for social equality. After India gained its Independence in 1947, Ambedkar was appointed as chair of the drafting committee for the new Constitution which guarantees a wide range of civil liberties for its citizens.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Way co-naming (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

Dozens of attendees at the ceremony (Photo via Twitter Councilwoman Julie Won)

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Way co-naming (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

Councilwoman Julie Won speaking at the co-naming event (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

The co-naming ceremony took place on June 25 and was hosted by Councilwoman Julie Won, who represents the 26th Council District, and the Shri Guru Ravidass Temple of New York, which is located at the intersection of 61st Street and Broadway.

Congresswoman Grace Meng, state Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblyman Steven Raga were also in attendance, along with Randhir Jaiswal, the Indian Consul General in New York, as well as dozens of local residents.

Won said Ambedkar was deserving of the street co-naming since he became an international symbol against caste discrimination through his life and work.

“As the district that’s home to Shri Guru Ravidass Temple of New York and thousands of Dalit community members, I’m honored that we as a community commemorated the life and contributions of Dr. Ambedkar with this street co-naming,” Won said. “Dr. Ambedkar spent his life overcoming adversity and fighting against the discrimination of Dalits, women, and religious minorities. His commitment to equality and justice is an inspiration to us all.”

Ambedkar also attended Columbia University, where he earned a PhD in economics.

The new street sign being erected (Photo via Twitter Councilwoman Julie Won)

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Way co-naming (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

Congresswoman Grace Meng and State Senator Michael Gianaris were among those in attendance (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Way co-naming (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

Attendees at the street co-naming event (Photo provided by Councilwoman Julie Won)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Jamaica man sentenced to five years for $4.5 million bank fraud and money laundering scheme

A Jamaica man was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday for his role in a wide-ranging bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy, which resulted in the misappropriation of approximately $4.5 million in victims funds.

Chinwendu Alisigwe, 38, was previously convicted following a trial in Manhattan federal court. According to the indictment and evidence offered at trial, from 2017 to 2020, Alisigwe used fake identifications to open 36 separate bank accounts at six different financial institutions, which he opened with more than a dozen fraudulent passports and other bogus identity documents bearing his photograph, but the names of other individuals.

16-year-old arrested after assault on 68-year-old grandmother heading to church in Jamaica Hills: NYPD

A 16-year-old Jamaica boy was arrested on Thursday and criminally charged in the vicious attack that left a 68-year-old grandmother in critical condition after the teen shoved her while she was heading to church in Jamaica Hills on Sunday morning.

Detectives from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows apprehended the teenager in front of his residence on 89th Avenue in Jamaica following a four-day manhunt. The incident occurred as Irene Tahliambouris was on her way to morning mass on April 7.

Cop injured by glass bottle thrown from 7 train station on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

An on-duty NYPD police officer was injured while standing on a foot post when he was struck by a glass bottle that was thrown from the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza, 7 train station above Roosevelt Avenue early Monday morning.

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst reported that the officer was in uniform standing in front of 103-28 Roosevelt Ave. just before 2 a.m., when a man threw the bottle from the Flushing-bound platform. It struck the officer’s head, causing a laceration and a concussion.