The purpose of establishing informational websites, blogs, forums and publishing books, articles and research is firstly because the people doing this is not only interested in history, but it’s a personal choice; because it’s important to them. For many of us, and I am saying this from my discussions with many people that they want to know more about the sacrifices, hardships and the lives of our forebears so that they can ensure that they pass this information down the generational chain.
The Girmitiyas ended up leading lives of sheer hardships and they fought against all odds to not only survive, but also to build a way for a better future for their descendants. They embraced the local culture and assimilated themselves in their adopted new home. They transformed barren lands into golden crops; they brought prosperity and abundance for themselves and for the fellow natives.
They were there foundation of the economic and fundamental to the development of Fiji. Many of the labourers empowered succeeding generations through a determined pursuit of education.
The Girmitiyas settled in Fiji, and I, just like the many of you are happy that they did. My parents, siblings, friends, and family left Fiji because of a different reason, and this occurred after the coups of 1987. We all had our reasons to take this very important step in our life – a decision which was hard, emotional but had to be made. I have adopted Australia as my home; Fiji is another home to me. I grew up in Fiji and have emotional ties with Fiji. At the same time, I call Australia home, because I my life is here now.
When establishing the Gimit.org website, my purpose was to share the information that I had gathered and compiled with everyone else who shared similar sentiments for the Girmitiyas, our forebears. I compiled a lot of information with the help of some very knowledgeable people, including Dr Satish Rai, Thakur Ranjit Singh Dr Brij Lal, Dr Kamlesh Sharma, Anup Kumar, Devendra Singh, Mr Wadan Narsey and the many others who I have acknowledged in the website. Through their extensive and exhaustive research, many of which was self-funded and done at the own time, today we are enriched with so much information that is readily and easily accessible.
Today we have access to well researched documents and based on personal experiences, we have gathered so much information which is available freely to people to learn and acknowledge the Girmitiyas . I have mentioned it so many times, that when asked about my heritage and when questioned “where are you from” the answer “that my ancestors came in a boat from India to Fiji” is nothing but lame. Just like every other person, it’s very important to me to know the truth, and the complete truth.
After reading the many posts on this Group, I would like to clear a few things, that we (speak for a few other people) are in no way criticizing our adopted home, or any other cultures, race or religion. The purpose of such discussion is education, acknowledgement, and honour the Girmitiyas. Let stick to the topic, let’s not shoot any messengers, lets ensure that we show RESPECT to each other, this is the basics of life.
R.I.P the Girmitiyas. R.E.S.P.E.C.T the Girmitiyas