My name is Bindiganavale Ramaprasad.
"I never regretted immigrating to the United States and given a chance I will do it all over again."

Bangalore, India

Flushing, New York




I arrived in John F. Kennedy Airport, Borough of Queens, New York around 4 PM on April 1, 1971 via Germany. Securing an immigrant visa (green card) was not difficult as I had a Masters Degree in Mathematics and got qualified as a professional in finance. I was 28 years old. As I was allowed only $8 to bring in with me, I stopped in Dusseldorf, Germany to collect extra dollars from a friend. I was traveling on TWA- Trans World Airlines which is now out of business. I had no job offers. The economic conditions were not good as the country was going through a bad recession. Therefore, although my wife whom I had married just a year ago had also secured an immigrant visa, I left her behind in the expectation she would join me as soon as I found a job and felt economically secure. Anxiety, fear, leaving behind my family especially my wife, a good job in India and no job here were traumatic. I had a nice job as a banker in India but took the plunge to immigrate to the USA not for economic or political reasons but the Indian government led by the Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi had nationalized many banks including the United Commercial Bank now called UCO Bank that I was working for and I was averse to working in a government owned commercial business. I was met at the airport by a very close friend of mine Mr. Mysore Gandhi who himself had immigrated just a year ago. He in fact influenced me to immigrate to the USA. Another close friend of mine Mr. Mysore Nagaraja and his wonderful wife Mrs. Girija Nagaraja offered me shelter in their home for a couple of weeks. They addressed my initial inhibitions and brought me up to speed on the culture, mannerisms, what I can expect and what is expected of me and the nitty-gritty of finding a job and settling down. I am now 71, happily retired with two grandsons. Looking back, I will never be able to repay my debt of gratitude to Mr. Mysore Gandhi and Mr. & Mrs. Nagaraja. Without them my dreams would have just remained dreams. They still are my two closest friends. I never regretted immigrating to the United States and given a chance I will do it all over again. The values it stands for and practices-freedom, justice, equality, recognition of human dignity-even with all the imperfections were inspiring and woke me up from the slumber of indifference and ignorance to the plight of so many especially that of handicapped children. I strongly believe, because of my decision to immigrate to this wonderful country it not only broadened my mind but also economically helped me to contribute quite a bit to the cause of empowering handicapped children in India and here in the USA. God bless America.