Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Indian indentured labourers during his visit to the Aapravasi Ghat, an immigration depot through which the ancestors of more than 70 percent of Mauritius’s current population arrived.
Modi paid homage to the “brave” Indian indentured labourers who arrived in Mauritius in batches from 1834 till the early 20th century.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to pay homage to the brave Apravasis who left India’s shores nearly two centuries ago. Aapravasi Ghat is an eloquent tribute to the indomitable human spirit and also to the enduring links between our people,” Modi wrote in the visitor’s book at the site.
“It is our sacred duty to treasure and preserve this site,” he said.
Aapravasi Ghat is located on the bay of Trou Fanfaron, in the capital Port Louis. Immigrants arrived from India after a journey across the Indian Ocean that generally took eight to ten weeks.
Half a million Indian indentured labourers crossed the steps of this immigration depot to work in plantations of the British empire.
Mauritius marked the 180th anniversary of the first arrival of Indian indentured labour at Aapravasi Ghat on November 2 last year. It is now a World Heritage site.