People of Indian Origin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PIOCCI)

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Conference in Mauritius July 2018

Organized a successful event in Mauritius on 5-6 July 2018 at Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka, Mauritius. The event title was Contribution of Indian Diaspora in National Building. The event had participation from several Diaspora countries including Caribbeans, Fiji, Reunion, Malaysia and many African countries. The majority of Indian Diaspora in Mauritius comprises of the

The two-day international conference, focusing on the contribution of Indian Diaspora in nation building in Mauritius, kicked off at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute in Moka. The conference was organised as part of India's commemoration of the centenary of the abolition of indentured system and the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the independence of Mauritius.

The Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence and Minister of Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jagnauth, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Prithvirajsing Roopun and other personalities were present at the ceremony.

In his keynote address, Minister Mentor highlighted that the depth, strength and uniqueness of the shared relationship between India and Mauritius is unparalleled while adding that it transcends the socio-economic and political sides and is firmly rooted in a common vision.

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According to Sir Anerood Jugnauth, the unity and diversity that presently reigns in Mauritius and its people's capacity to respond to emerging challenges are the result of the outstanding values such as resilience. Tolerance, hard work and sacrifice transmitted to Mauritius by their forefather who came mainly from India under the Indentured Systems.

He recalled that under the colonial rule, over 2 million indentured labourers were taken amongst other to the land of South Africa, Mauritius, Trinidad and Fiji to address labour shortages in sugarcane plantations consequent upon abolition of the slavery. He underlined that they constituted significant majorities and have played an important role in the nation building process thus contributing to socio-economic development of their respective countries. Some half million indentured labourers who came to Mauritius have contributed significantly to give a new identity to the country.

For his part, Minister Roopun underlined that the arrival of the indentured immigrants is a major milestone in the history of Mauritius. He underlined that through their toil, sweat, unwavering determination and their struggle for a better life, the indentured immigrants have shaped modern Mauritius and contributed in transforming the country into the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean.

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With regards to cultural heritage, he underscored that the country is a multi-ethnic one and that this multi-ethnicity must be seen as a powerful driver of social harmony and economic prosperity and used as an engine to prevent conflicts and maintain peace and unity. The conference noted that the arrival of these brave people from India was much more than the mere transportation of a group of labourers of an unknown land. He described it as a profound transfusion of the very pluralistic cultural values of India. This heritage is found very much alive today in Mauritius as well as the other countries on the Indentured Labour Route, he said.

The conference, in its different sessions outlined the economic strength, cultural concerns and potentialities of the Indian Diaspora and helped in determining future possible contributions.

Office bearers of PIOCCI with Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Minister Emeritus on the sidelines of the conference.