NEWS

A Dream Come True: Descendant

Durga Prasad, whose family claims he is over 100 years old, said yesterday the national Girmit Centennial Celebrations were more meaningful. Mr Prasad said this was because the Girmitiyas’ dream
11 Nov 2016 11:00
A Dream Come True: Descendant
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with Durga Prasad. Photo: Arisma Devi-Narayan

Durga Prasad, whose family claims he is over 100 years old, said yesterday the national Girmit Centennial Celebrations were more meaningful.

Mr Prasad said this was because the Girmitiyas’ dream had come true.

He said in the Girmit days their dream was to be treated equally and fairly.

Mr Prasad said today Fiji was united as one people where everyone was equal and called Fijian. There was  now a genuine cause for celebrations.

He thanked Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for the positive changes.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was chief guest at the Girmit celebrations at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka.

The event was part of National Girmit Centennial Celebrations celebrated in major centres throughout the country.

Mr Prasad said his parents came from the ships that brought the Indian indentured labourers from British India to Fiji.

Mr Prasad said while his family settled at Viseisei, Lautoka, initially they moved to Lomolomo, Lautoka, where he resides now with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“I saw the struggles of our parents, I also struggled,” Mr Prasad said.

He recollected his memories from the old Gurukul School at Saweni, Lautoka. It has been replaced by Pundit Vishnu Deo Primary School.

“I went to school until class four. The school was made of wood, and it was very small. Sometimes we studied under the trees even,” he said.

“I used to walk from home to school every morning from Lomolomo to Saweni.

“At 15, I left school; I was about ten when I started school. Then I took up a job at the pineapple factory at Lautoka.

There Mr Prasad worked under a British boss.

Things changed over time as he witnessed the changes that Fiji was undergoing.

Mr Prasad said he was glad that his fathers and forefathers and all others who had gone through such suffering would not go through them anymore.

He thanked everyone who worked towards the attainment of the independence.

Yesterday, Mr Prasad thanked the Government and the Girmit Council for  the celebrations in memory of his parents and every other indentured labourer.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj



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