Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:06

Ministry Honours East Indian Indentured Labourers’ Contribution

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The Indian Diaspora World Convention 2017 ended with an intimate ceremony on Monday 20th March, 2017 with the unveiling of a commemorative monument marking the Centennial Anniversary for the Abolition of Indian Indentureship (1917-2017) at Saith Park, Chaguanas.

Just over one hundred persons were present for the unveiling - done by the Indian Diaspora Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and the Deo Gosine Foundation - to commemorate this historic centennial celebration. This was the final activity in Indian Diaspora World Convention which ran from Friday 17th March - Monday 20th March, 2017 and included panel sessions, workshops and cultural presentations committed to advancing a progressive diaspora through collaboration and dialogue on various issues.

“Our country has benefited from the valuable contributions to the fields of medicine, academia, politics, education and the arts, which many of the indentured labourers’ children and grandchildren have made to our country over the last one hundred years,” acknowledged Mrs. Beverley Reid-Samuel, Deputy Permanent Secretary, who represented Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts.

Mrs Reid-Samuel also noted the importance of heritage preservation. “Heritage ought to be preserved and sustained so that communities can be enriched and empowered. The hosting of this Indian Diaspora World Convention over the last few days is one way that the East Indian Heritage and Culture is being preserved. I must take this opportunity to applaud the organisers who executed this important activity.”

A number of speakers echoed similar sentiments of the contribution made by Indentured Labourers since the Abolition of Indian Indentureship. These included Dr. the Honourable Surujrattan Rambachan - Member of Parliament, Tabaquite; Dr. Deokanand Sharma, President of the National Council for Indian Culture and Dr. Rampesad Parasaram, President of the Indian Diaspora Council (IDC) Trinidad and Tobago. There were also regional and international speakers at the Commemoration including His Excellency David Prendergast, the Jamaican High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago; Prince Ishwar Ramlutchman of South Africa and Sir Anand Satyanan, former Governor General of New Zealand.

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts is committed to building resilient, culturally rich communities. One programme that facilitates this vision is the Grant Funding programme which provides grants to Community –based, Faith-Based, Cultural and other Non-Governmental Organisations in support of projects that contribute to building the community, cultural, religious and creative sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.

- Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts

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