LIVE Conversations with Indian Elders in the Diaspora – Part 3 Join us THIS SUNDAY for the 131st weekly ICC (+AGI) ZOOM Public Meeting.
Yesterday (1/10/22), the United Nations observed International Day of Older Persons, focusing on the theme “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.” NGO Committees celebrated this theme on Ageing in New York, Geneva and Vienna. The ICC and the AGI wish to join the United Nations with a unique and complementary approach. The UN stated that it is vital that recognition must be given to the contributions of older persons, and the inclusion of their voices, perspectives and needs are critical to creating meaningful policies to enhance a holistic response to local, national, and global challenges and catastrophes. In this context, we have invited older folks - supported by their children and grandchildren - to share personal stories about their life experiences in the 1940s, about 20 years after Indian indentureship officially ended in 1920.
Historically, the actual voices of living Indian elders are often unrecognised, underrepresented, unheard and undocumented in many research collections in the Caribbean and the wider Indian Diaspora. In this respect, Noor Kumar Mahabir’s book (1985) entitled The Still Cry: Personal Accounts of East Indians in Trinidad and Tobago During Indentureship, 1845-1917 is a rare, and unique exception.
The value of these narratives was expressed in a statement in the Pan Caribbean Sankofa Oral History Project in this way: “The stories of the individuals who lived and worked [at that time] … are essential pieces of the historical puzzle – without these recorded stories, valuable insight into the past and many cultural memories will be lost. Oral history interviews help to enrich our understanding of life …, and they ensure that a variety of experiences and viewpoints are represented in the documented history. Our goal is to capture the broadest possible range of individual and collective experiences – everyone’s narrative is irreplaceable and important. We want to give everyone an opportunity to tell their own story in their own words.”
Please join us THIS SUNDAY for the 122th weekly ICC ZOOM (+AGI) Public Meeting, October 2, 2022 at (1.00 p.m. Belize), (3.00 p.m. New York/Eastern time), (3.00 p.m. Trinidad/Atlantic time), (3.00 p.m. Guyana), (4.00 p.m. Suriname), (8.00 p.m. England), (9.00 p.m. South Africa), (Sun 12 midnight, India, ND), (Mon 7.00 a.m. Fiji).
LIVE Conversations with Indian Elders in the Diaspora about long time days
JAISINGH SURUJBULLEE SINGH, 92 - Born in 1930. Founder and executive committee member of many NPOs. Currently, the President of the 1860 Indentured Labourers Foundation Verulam.
ROSEY RAMDEO, 95 - Born in 1927. Married at 15. Widow for about 45 years. Worked as a labourer in the sugar cane plantation, and as a cane farmer and vegetable gardener to educate her children.
HANSRAJ “SONIA” RAMESAR, 89 - Born in 1933. Former full-time farmer and fisherman. Loves animals. Lived most of his life in a mud hut without pipe-borne water and electricity.
PHOOLO CHATTARGOON, 92 - Born in 1930. Married at 13. Has 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Attended primary school until Standard Five. Cultivated rice, watermelons, bodi and eddoes.
LILAWATEE OJAH MAHARAJ, 76 - Born in 1946. Grandfather ( ajaa ) was born in India. She attended a Roman Catholic primary school and became a teacher specialising in Art and Craft.
Questions from the Moderators and Members of the LIVE audience
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