Use Indentureship Resilience To Fight Pandemic

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AS Trinidad and Tobago gets ready to celebrate Indian Arrival Day under Covid-19 circumstances, President Paula-Mae Weekes is hoping that the resilience possessed by the East Indian labourers would be reflective in the population during this pandemic. 

In a statement issued on Friday, the President reminded the nation of the 176th anniversary of the arrival of the  Fatel Razack at the Port-of-Spain harbour with 225 travel-weary but relieved passengers on board.  

She said, “With their religions, customs, values and hopes for a brighter future in tow, they came ashore and breathed new life into the economic, social and cultural fabric of their adopted homeland and, well over a century later, the torch of their legacy of sacrifice, perseverance and temerity is ably borne by their descendants. Our country is all the better for it.” 

The indentured labourers, drawn from villages and cities across India, have enriched Trinbagonian society beyond measure but the real and enduring impact of their coming was much more than those tangible cultural good she said and  their experiences were wells of  guidance and inspiration.

Weekes said, “Our approach to dealing with adversity should mirror that of the pioneers who braved treacherous seas, toiled in an unfamiliar and hostile land, and suffered oppressive working and living conditions before they ultimately triumphed. Theirs is a tale of resilience, courage and determination to succeed. 

“In the same way that they understood the value of sacrifice in order to reap a benefit, we too must make the necessary changes to our accustomed behaviour in order to make inroads in our current struggle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Let us set aside the cleavages, political, social and racial which plague and frustrate efforts to rid our nation of this deadly virus, and bond to confront the common enemy.”


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