{ {{L'Inde octroie déjà des bourses d'études à des Vincentiens. Un Institut de formation en Technologie sera construit. Une assistance au développement des micro, petites et moyennes entreprises à St Vincent et aux Grenadines sera également fournie. A la suite de cette information le lecteur trouvera aussi un article du journaliste Steve Bullock sur la diversité de la population des SVG.}} }

News Release October 7, 2007
_ {{India & SVG Strengthen Bonds}}

To commemorate the first Anniversary of Indian Heritage Day, October 7, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the SVG Indian Heritage Foundation (SVGIHF) wishes to announce that it has made concrete progress to strengthen the bonds between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and India.

Three areas of Indian assistance to St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been identified:

1) Scholarships for Vincentians to study in India;

2) Establishment of a technology training institute in St. Vincent; and

3) Assistance in the development of micro, small and medium enterprises in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The scholarship program for studies in India has commenced. Plans are ongoing to establish the training institute that is scheduled to offer a variety of programs with durations of three months and up to three years.

Plans for the enterprise development program are also progressing. A workshop to look at agro-processing is soon to be conducted in St. Vincent.

In addition, SVGIHF executive member, Mr. Lenroy Thomas has been selected for specialized training in India in the field of planning and promotion of agro and food enterprises.

The eight weeks program commences on October 15, 2007. Mr. Thomas will also seek to explore opportunities for establishing partnerships in areas such as business, education and technology for mutual benefit while in India.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines stands to benefit from these initiatives of the Indian Government and the SVGIHF.

The SVGIHF reminds the public that the celebration of Indian Heritage Day which were postponed due to the funeral of the late Mrs. Eslin King of Calder will now be held on Sunday, October 14 in Argyle in the area known as Corner Rock commencing from 10:00 am.

Come and have some fun!

{{SVG Indian Heritage Foundation.}}

{Ralph Gonzalves, Premier Ministre de SVG, discute avec de jeunes citoyens.}


{ {{This article was written by Steve S. Bullock, a descendant of indentured Indians on St. Vincent. Bullock is the Associated Press reporter on St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. He is also a part time professor at the University of the Virgin Islands.}} }

"The following is based on my research into the origins and settlements of indentured east Indians on St. Vincent between 1860's and 1920's.

At least four brothers with the last name Ram Ballack Singh were part of a contingent that came to St. Vincent from the Bihar province.

Each was assigned to separate estates in Argyle (southeast coast of the island), Calder-Escape (five miles away), Fountain, south of the island (four miles from the current location of the E.T. Joshua Airport, and in the Yambou-Acers-Dickie area, located six miles inland from the Argyle estate.

The Indians who settled in Argyle-Calder-Escape-Yambou areas worked on the Argyle Estate, which was one of the largest sugar cane plantations on the island.

Many subsequently befriended King Jaja, (1821-1891) the exiled king of Opobo (Opobu), Niger Delta, who was banished to St. Vincent in the early 1880's after he opposed British interference and colonial attempt to monopolize the lucrative palm oil industry in the delta regions of Nigeria, which his Ana Pepple Trading House (tribe) controlled.

King Jaja was taken to St. Vincent and lived for about three or four years on the Spring Estate, located to the north (on the outskirts) of the Argyle Estate. King Jaja and the Indians of the day shared and learned from each other's agriculture and culinary traditions before the British agreed to repatriate him to Africa. He died en route to his native country, according to the British. He was so loved and adored by his Opobo people that they offered to pay the British to return his body to Nigeria, where he was buried.

My research and interviews with ancestors of the four brothers indicate that all four came with their wives from India.

Their last name Ram Ballack Singh was changed by the plantation owners to Bullock, which is a popular Anglo-American (Caucasian) last name. For example Sandra Bullock, the American movie star and Mayor/Councilman Steve Bullock of Lewisham, London, England.
The Bullock's family and lineage is now one of the more prominent Indian families on St. Vincent. Their extended family number about 500 and they continue to live in or adjacent to their original settlement locations.

The Bacchus family is another prominent Indian family who settled in the Richland Park area of the island (five miles north of Marriaqua located in the middle of the island). Many descendants from the Bacchus and Bullock families subsequently married and are now closely related by marriage.

Other indentured Indians who were brought to St. Vincent were also given (assigned) Anglo-Saxon surnames including Deane, Lewis, Laban, Woods, Jack, Latchman, Baptiste, Carr, Harry, Sutherland and Leisure. One or two families were allowed to keep / retain their Indian names. For example, the Singh family of Dickie.

Today the descendants of Indian indentured servants in St. Vincent number between 3,000 and 4,000 out of a total population of 115,000.

Many are prominent government employees, including doctors, dentists, bankers, and educators, while others are involved in commercial and entrepreneurial activities. One prominent Indian, Dr. Sinclair Thomas, an ENT Specialist, was a senator and minister of Health in the former James Mitchell administration between 1996 and 2000.

Dr. Junior Bacchus, another indentured Indian descendant is a prominent optomologist on the island. Murray Bullock is the director of the government run St. Vincent & the Grenadines National Lotteries. Indian owned businesses include JAX (Jack's) Enterprises, Summer Ware, Linmur, Murray's Ville, Deane's Pharmacy, Eatrite, Ken's Enterprises.

Many have intermarried with other races including the indigenous Carib Indians, Afro-Caribbean and Garifuna extractions.

Garifunas or black Caribs are descendants of Carib Indians who intermarried/ interbred with African slaves who were shipwrecked or brought to the island. Most of the original Garifunas (4,300) were captured/abducted by the British colonial powers and banished to two barren/uninhabited islands (Baliceaux and Battoweia) located a few miles south of St. Vincent in 1797.

The Garifunas were later taken to Roatan, an island off the coast of Central America near Honduras and were subsequently resettled in present day Belize. Many of the remaining Garifunas who escaped British capture live today in the north and northeast coastal areas of Sandy Bay, Owea and Fancy in an unofficial Carib reservation.

Many descendants of indentured Indians and Garifunas have intermarried.

Today, Indians live in other areas of the island, including, Georgetown, Dixion, Caratal, Park Hill, South Rivers, Colonaire, Dorsetshire Hill, Biabou, Rosehall and Mesopotamia."