GIS – 4 November 2013: The nation celebrated on 2 November 2013 the 179th anniversary of the arrival of the indentured labourers in Mauritius. A commemorative ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Arts and Culture in association with the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund in Port Louis.
Wreaths were laid by the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag; the Prime Minister, Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, and other eminent personalities on the steps which indentured labourers first climbed when they reached Mauritius, to be brought later to several depots on the island. Activities also included a universal prayer and a cultural show executed by students of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute as well as an exhibition of unpublished photographs on Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site.
In his address, the Prime Minister underscored the importance of building a nation for the betterment of the country. He recalled that our ancestors were from different corners of the world but today we must work together to gear the country towards a common goal for our country.
He underlined the importance of honouring our history, paying tribute to our ancestors and remembering their struggles. They were the pioneers who worked to make Mauritius take off economically but they had no idea that centuries later, Mauritius would be country we can today all be proud of, he said.
However, we must keep on working harder, make sacrifices, be disciplined and increase our economic growth, Dr. Ramgoolam added. He recalled that many indentured labourers went back to India at the expiry of their contracts adding that those who decided to stay back worked and earned a better future.
The Prime Minister deplored that, for long, the history of Mauritius has been told from a colonial perspective. Those who write about our history and culture deserve to be given the necessary encouragement, he said. Dr Ramgoolam announced that the Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre will be officially inaugurated next year.
He also proceeded to the launch of Khal Toorabully’s book entitled “Voices from the Aapravasi Ghat”.
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