159 years ago, Indian history began in a new way when the Indian people arrived in South Africa on board the “Truro” from Madras (Chennai). Indentured labourers, 197 men, 89 women and 59 children arrived to work in the sugar cane plantations in what was then Port Natal.
The journey was by no means easy. Circumstances were tough on land, some treatment almost inhuman but their will was strong and they found a way to co-exist. The working contract lasted five years, inclusive of wages and a return passage home. The demand for labourers increased into the railways, coalmines and sugar sectors. At the end of their tenure, most returned to India. Those that remained behind industriously built their own homes.
159 years later, our city of Durban of has the highest population of Indian people outside of India and is known as Little India. South African Indians honour their “African Indian Odyssey”