Thank you to Dr. Kumar Mahabir and Ms. Fazia Mohammed for disseminating this conference.

The Indian Diaspora Councils of New York and Trinidad will be hosting an
Indian Diaspora World Convention from March 17-20 at various venues in
Trinidad.

Speaking last week at a press conference at the National Council of Indian
Culture (NCIC), Dr. Rampersad Parasram, Chairman of the Indian Diaspora
Council (TT) said:  “This convention will culminate a series of events
around the world commemorating the 100thanniversary of the abolition of the
recruitment of indentured labourers in India.”

Parasram referred to the implementation of the Indian Act of 1917 as a
“significant milestone in mankind’s quest for social justice and human
rights.” He said that the convention will provide a perfect opportunity to
reflect on the injustices of indentureship.

Parasram added that the convention will also provide a forum to discuss the
impact of indentureship on the millions of descendants of indentured
labourers worldwide. He stated that the objective of organizing the
convention is to create a platform for critical dialogue towards the
advancement of the global diasporic community in developing their
respective nation states.

This global convention will be declared officially open on Friday 17th March
by Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, and will be followed
by a concert and dinner. According to Dr. Deokinanan Sharma, President of
the NCIC, the cultural programme will showcase various art forms such as
Indian folk songs. He said that the performances will take attendees on an
artistic journey from 1845 in India to contemporary Trinidad.

The theme of the convention is “Charting New Frontiers.” Highlighting
topics to be addressed over the two-day academic conference to be held at
the NCIC on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March was Conference Coordinator
Dr. Primnath Gooptar.

He listed the panels for the conference which included “The Heritage and
Historical Contexts,” “Identity in the Indian Diaspora,” “Challenges Facing
the Diasporic Indians,” “Documenting the Indian Diaspora,” “The Global
Indian Diasporic Community in the 21st Century” and “Youth and Gender
Issues.”

Gooptar said the conference will host over 36 speakers from 15 foreign
countries such as Belize, the Netherlands, Canada, St Vincent, India, UK
and Japan. Attendees can expect interesting presentations such as “The
Significance of History and Archaeology in the Indian Diaspora” by Nisha
Ramracha, “Racial and Political Discrimination and Victimization in Guyana”
by Vishnu Bandhu, “The marginalization of Indian men in advertisements in
Trinidad and Tobago” by Kumar Mahabir, “Indo-Caribbean’s growing economic
status in New York” by Tarachand Singh, and “Indian Involvement in Cricket
in the Caribbean” by Daren Ganga.

The academic conference is free and open to the public on both days (March
18-19) by registration at 8:30 on mornings.

A gala banquet will be hosted by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) at
their St Augustine headquarters on Sunday 19th March. SDMS representative,
Vijay Maharaj, said the banquet will include performances by some of the
students of the SDMS’ 52 primary and five secondary schools. Feature
speakers at the banquet will include Opposition Leader Kamla
Persad-Bissessar and Yacoob Ali, President General of The Anjuman
Sunnat-Ul-Jamaat (ASJA) (a collaborating partner of the convention).

Another event included in the global convention will be the release of new
books on the theme of Indian identity in the Diaspora. There will also be
tours for foreign visitors to various places of diasporic interest e.g.
Indian Caribbean Museum, the Temple in the Sea, and the 85-foot Hanuman
Murti (scared statue).

A reception and dinner will be hosted by the Indian High Commission at
India House for conference presenters. Community outreach academic
programmes have been planned for Felicity, Sangre Grande and Penal. In
recognition of the abolition of the recruitment of indentured labourers in
India, a plaque-unveiling ceremony will take place at the office of the
Mayor of Chaguanas.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Kumar Mahabir at dmahabir@gmail.com

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