What started out as an ambitious diary of the history of Indentured East Indians and their descendants in Guyana has evolved into so much more. Horizons captures the footsteps of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the Indentured Immigrants as they moved from Guyana further afield breaking new grounds, scaling horizons and leaving indelible imprints on the world stage- Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Eshri Singh, Dr. Suresh Narine, Judge Majeed bound by humble origins, Guyanese parentage and laudable achievements.
East Indian Indentureship to British Guiana started in 1838 and continued until March 1917 when it was abolished. Today in March 2017, we observe “the Centenary of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship” and celebrate the freedom of our foreparents from bondage.The movement to end Indian Indenture was started by Indian nationalists in India agitating with the British authorities who firstly suspended Indentureship on March 12, 1917, and finally confirmed its abolition on March 27. All remaining contracts were voided by the British Parliament on January 1, 1920.
A register of the Indian indentured immigrants bound for British Guiana in 1838 taken at Calcutta, the port of embarkation, reveals that the first batch of those leaving India was overwhelmingly comprised of men. Described as being varying shades of brown, of average height, many with small pox scars and wearing earrings, these immigrants climbed aboard the Hesperus - one of the ships destined for the first voyage to British Guiana.
Many will say that the Indian indentured immigrant enjoyed a certain level of freedom of movement in Guyana because they migrated and set up villages and agricultural hubs in most parts of Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo. But this was not so early, and even later, in the period of indentureship. It was this restriction of movement and other inhumane acts that propelled the resistance against indenture by the immigrants..