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Girmitiya Descendants’ Contributions Huge: Academic

Girmitiya descendants continue to make massive contributions as citizens of Indian diaspora countries and have owned good socioeconomic status. This sentiment was shared by the University of Fiji vice-chancellor, Professor
23 Mar 2017 13:10
Girmitiya Descendants’ Contributions Huge: Academic
From left: Tui Noco, Ratu Isoa Damudamu, Ravi Yadav from the High Commission of India and chairman of the Fiji Girmit Council Jagannath Sami during the diya lighting ceremony at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka yesterday during the Centennial Conference on the Abolition of Indian Indentureship. Photo: Arishma Devi-Narayan

Girmitiya descendants continue to make massive contributions as citizens of Indian diaspora countries and have owned good socioeconomic status.

This sentiment was shared by the University of Fiji vice-chancellor, Professor Prem Misir yesterday in Lautoka during the Centennial Conference on the Abolition of Indian Indentureship.

During his speech, Mr Misir said: “At the end of indenture, more Indians remained in their host countries than opting to return permanently to their native homeland.

“Indeed, there are other Indians in the Indian diaspora who experience social, political, and economic disadvantage, many of this experiencing almost perpetual relative deprivation may be operating within a new avant-garde indentureship.”

The conference has participants from 10 countries, including a representative from the government of India, former director of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Kamal Kishore Mishra.

Discussed at the three day forum will be over 100 plenary papers on topics such as Crossing Paths: Rethinking iTaukei and Girmit relations,  Population Growth, Family Planning and Girmit, Imagination, Disruption and Change – the New Normal, Indian women’s oppression in the indenture and post-indenture periods, From Indian Coolies to Fijians: Culture and Identity and Change among Indo-Fijians.

As of yesterday, there were 100 participants at the academic conference which aims to share data, research in relation to Girmitiyas in the past, the situation at present and the future.

The organising secretary for the conference, Ganesh Chand said he was amazed at the types of research that were presented by participants at the plenary sessions.

“There was a huge interest from the people especially those participating from other countries,” Mr Chand said.

“It is very encouraging.

“There has been an amazing amount of research which is recorded in the conference papers and the quality of research is high.

“They all relate to indenture, Girmit, relationship between Girmit and relationship between Girmitiyas and various other entities.”

The conference continues today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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