Uma Sengupta, an Indian American educationist, activist, and community leader, who died in March last year, has been honored with a street sign bearing her name in Queens, New York.
Elected officials as well as friends and family of the trailblazer attended the street co-naming ceremony on Oct 16 at the intersection of 152nd Street and Union Turnpike in the Briarwood section of Queens.
New York Attorney General Letitia James also attended the event. “I was proud to attend the street renaming to honor Uma SenGupta today,” she wrote on X. “Uma spent decades fighting for social, racial and economic justice. She embodied the very spirit of Queens, and now her legacy will not be forgotten.”
New York City road co-named after Dr. BR Ambedkar (June 27, 2023)
City Council member James F. Gennaro, who authored the Council resolution to honor Sengupta, said “well known for her activism and decades of community service,” she was a trailblazer in the political scene here in Queens and beyond.”
“It is my hope that anytime someone comes down 152nd Street and Union Turnpike, they are reminded of the great legacy she leaves behind.”
Sengupta’s son Sumit described his mother as “a pioneer for women, educators and underserved as well as emerging immigrant groups. She was “affectionately known as the ‘mother of the community.”
READ: New York street co-named Ganesh Temple Street (April 5, 2022)
The family hopes that the street sign will help “New Yorkers and visitors feel the warmth of a mother’s words of encouragement, inspiring them to continue in my mother’s legacy of community development, philanthropic service and progress for society,” he said.
Sengupta came to New York over 60 years ago with her husband — the late Suprabhat Sengupta — and three children to build a new life.
She founded a Montessori School that provided high-quality early childhood education and ran in Flushing for over 38 years. She is also remembered for her work in the community in which she diligently worked for Indian Americans to have a voice, access, and equity.
READ: New York street co-named ‘Punjab Avenue’ (October 30, 2020)
Sengupta made history in January 2004, by becoming the first Indian American woman to be sworn in as the Democratic Party District Leader of the 25th Assembly District, Part B, in Queens.