Girmit
Girmit

Girmit descendant calls for 99-year leases ahead of Girmit Day commemoration

Girmit descendant calls for 99-year leases ahead of Girmit Day commemoration

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 07/05/2024
[Image: Stephanie Greekpaum]

As we prepare to commemorate Girmit Day on Monday, girmit descendant and Labasa Town Council Special Administration Chair Paul Jaduram says the Indo-Fijian population still need security and they do have it but farmers are only given 30-year agricultural leases.

In an interview with fijivillage News, 84-year-old Jaduram says they need to be given the 99-year leases upfront.

The businessman says migration will continue but to retain or to get the Indo-Fijian diaspora to return, they need security.

Jaduram says he is currently writing a book about Labasa’s history.

He says Girmitiyas were first taken to Taganikula where his grandparents were the first settlers in Labasa Town.

Jaduram says his grandfather helped develop Labasa and almost half of it at one point was owned by his grandfather.

He says during the colonial era, Vaturekuka Hill was the original location of the town's government station and was used by the British administration and they used to come down to Vulovi and shop at MH.

He says his father and grandfather built the general merchant shop and a small cinema that used to show silent films of Charlie Chaplin.

The 84-year-old says he is proud of his parents and grandparents because their general merchant shop served the people of Western Vanua Levu including Nasekula, Tuatua and Wailevu.

Meanwhile, the theme for the 145th Girmit Day celebration is "Journey of Girmit Descendants in Building a New Fiji".

The celebrations will take place from Saturday to Monday at the Lautoka Girmit Multicultural Centre and on Saturday in Subrail Park, Labasa.

Jaduram says they will also acknowledge the elderly members of the community from the age of 85 to those who are over the age of 100 years.

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