FIJI, January 18, 2016 (Fiji Times by Prashneel Goundar): South Indians came to Fiji well before 1903 as part of the indenture system. However, on record the first ship from Madras named Elbe III reached Fiji on May 22, 1903. In Fiji, the Sangam has contributed a lot to the Fijian society especially in the education sector. Speaking at the 2013 Annual Sangam Convention Jai Ram Reddy said: "Today Sangam runs 21 primary schools, five secondary schools and one tertiary institution, namely the nursing school in Labasa. Some 10,000 children attend Sangam schools which are open to students of all races without any discrimination whatsoever. Today you will find people educated in Sangam schools in all walks of life, in all professions and occupations.

This year makes it 90 years since the inception of the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISI) which was formed on May 24, 1926 in Nadi. The Vision of TISI is: "To be a dynamic socio-economic, cultural and educational organisation developing its members to achieve Sangam aspirations through constant interactions and education" (Sangam Fiji, 2015).

Sadly there has been limited success in the interaction with its members in terms of promoting the languages namely Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam and its culture to some extent. The promotion of culture and language is not to be restricted to Sagnam schools only as not every South Indian in Fiji attends its schools because of various reasons, location being one of them and personal choices could also be one of the factors. Furthermore, this phrase of the mission is rather arguable in terms of its achievability over decades "To educate and inspire Sangam members to recognise their identity and contribute to the development of a dynamic society in its cultural heritage." The reason for this is that individuals as well families have yet to recognise the importance of their heritage.

Much more at "source" above.

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