Descendants of Girmitiyas can now go online to look at the boarding passes of their ancestors who came to Fiji after the launch of the girmitdata.org database.
Developer, Akhilesh Shiuram says they wanted to create a database that has records of passes of more than 60,000 Girmityas that came to Fiji in the 37 years of the indentured labour system.
He says if you know the name of your ancestors then you can use that as a starting point to assess the database, find actual passes with information such as the district they came from and find the link back to India.
Shiuram further says Doctor Ganeshwar Chand started work on the database through Fiji Institute of Applied Studies back in 2004 but there were some challenges.
He says moving forward, the records became available through the National Library in Australia and they were able to use that to create the database.
He also says we are lucky that the British had kept the records in their archives which was held by the Fiji Archives but the issue is that it is tiresome to actually go to the Archives and have a look into the physical records and try to find it
Shiuram adds they are still in the digitization phase and are transcribing most of the records from the images into text so they welcome anyone who can volunteer their assistance for this project.
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