“Bilateral relations will scale new heights”

H.E. Mr Mahender Singh Kanyal, Ambassador of India to Suriname, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines responded to questions from the India Empire Magazine on a range of subjects ...

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: The introduction of indentured labour into St. Vincent followed a similar pattern as in other Caribbean territories when slavery ended in 1838 and there was a shortage of labour as many blacks refused to work on the estates. Between 1861 and 1880, 8 ships arrived from India bringing a total of 2474 Indians, living in 23 estates. There are about 7700 persons of Indian origin residing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and 50 NRIs including professionals, medical students. The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Indian Heritage Foundation promotes and other organisations promote Indian soft power in SVG. 1st June is commemorated as Indian Arrival Day in SVG whereas 7th October as Indian Heritage Day.

BARBADOS: Initially, the presence of Indians in Barbados was mostly commercial. In the 1950s and 60s, Barbadians depended heavily on Indians for outfits for their children and household items on Xmas. However, after Barbados gained independence in 1966, Indian professionals, businessmen from India and professionals from other parts of the Caribbean arrived in Barbados and contributed significantly to the development of Barbados. Currently, it is estimated that there are 2500 people of Indian origin settled in Barbados and majority of them are from Gujarat. There are also about 50 Sindhi families mainly engaged in Businesses and 450 NRIs as medical students, professionals engaged in the fields of Education and Medicine, Financial Services and IT. The Indian company Larsen & Toubro constructed the Kensington Oval cricket stadium in Barbados.