Indian labourers’ arrival in South Africa commemorated

Johannesburg, Nov 19 (IANS) A South African organisation working for indentured Indian-origin labourers commemorated the 155th anniversary of their arrival in the country, a media report said on Thursday.

The 1860 Indentured Labourers’ Foundation on Sunday performed a play at a Civic Centre in Verulam town of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province and launched a brochure about work that foundation has done to educate people on the history and heritage of indentured labourers of Indian-origin.

Anand Jayrajh, chairman of the foundation, said the history of indentured labourers should always be on the radar as far as community awareness is concerned, News 24 reported.

“We are all aware of the fact that these indentured labourers worked in almost slave-like conditions and faced a lot of hardships,” Jayrajh said.

“Despite all these difficulties, with diligence and hard work they were able to overcome almost unsurmountable odds to make the lives of their dependents much more comfortable than what they enjoyed,” he added.

Indentured labour was a system of bonded labour that was instituted following the abolition of slavery. Indentured labourers were recruited to work in British colonies in the West Indies, Africa and South East Asia.

The foundation works for upholding and preserving the history and heritage of the indentured labourers of Indian origin who were brought to the Colony of Natal – a British colony in south-eastern Africa founded in 1843 – during 1860-1911.

 

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