JIS News

Indian Diaspora Day 2021 will be celebrated on Saturday, January 9. The day also commemorates the late political and spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa on January 9, 1915.

High Commissioner of India to Jamaica, His Excellency Rungsung Masakui, told JIS News that several Indian nationals who have made Jamaica their home will be recognised for their contribution to society.

“There are vibrant Indian community members who have settled down in Jamaica, and they have contributed effectively and exceptionally to the society,” he said.

Among the persons to be recognised are diaspora members, Kenneth Benjamin and Dr. Guna Muppuri. Two elders, 93-year-old Ernst Thompson and 87-year-old Ram Harajh Rajdeif, will also be honoured.

The High Commissioner said that Kenneth Benjamin and Dr. Guna Muppuri have received the Indian Diaspora Honour Award.

“They have been recipients of awards in the past, and what we are planning to do here is to recognise their contribution and to continue honouring them,” he said, adding that the High Commission will be reaching out to the recipients via the telephone and online platforms to congratulate them.

The newly appointed High Commissioner said it is not possible to have a social “gathering” for the elders, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the need to limit the gatherings to contain the spread of the virus. However, he said that members of the High Commission will be visiting the homes of the elders to pay their respects.

“What we are planning to do is just to listen to their stories, just to pay respect to them. They have been carrying the torch of our culture. They have been battening down the beliefs and culture from one generation to the next,” he pointed out.

“We want to hear their stories of the beautiful times they have in Jamaica, the down moments which they have experienced and their message to the younger generation,” High Commissioner Masakui said.

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