Indentured labour – 173 years ago

 This day marks the arrival of indentured labourers in Mauritius. After the abolition of slavery the British turned to India to recruit labour for the sugar cane field plantations in Mauritius. The first batch arrived on 2 November 1834 from Calcutta. The place where they landed and stayed near the harbour is known as the Aapravasi Ghat which has been subscribed to the World heritage. Ceremonies with cultural shows are held at that place in remembrance of those who marked the history of this country at the sweat of their hard labour.

But labour was recruited also from other parts of the region, namely China, Madagascar, Mozambique, the Comoro Islands, South-East Asia, Reunion Island and Aden (now known as Yemen). The chinese came between 1837 and 1843, while those from Malagasy Republic came between 1839 and 1857. Others who came were non-indentured.

A retired government officer, former trade unionist and occupational safety & health management consultant based in Rodrigues Islands, Alfa King (real name: Amanoola Khayrattee) is a bilingual contributor to This Week News ( He has been editor of trade union newsletter and has contributed articles for various in-house magazines, publications, and the local press. He blogs since 2007, and when he is not reading or surfing on the internet, he is hiking over an 8-km-daily routine.
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