150th anniversary of arrival of Indians in SA celebrated

The first batch of indentured labourers landed in South Africa on Nov 16, 1860. Valliamma, daughter of an immigrant labourer from the village, had taken part in an agitation organised by Mahatma Gandhi against discriminatory legislations and apartheid. She was imprisoned and died in jail on her 16th birthday on February 22, 1914.

Gandhi had visited Porayar and Thillaiyadi soon after his return from South Africa in 1915. So, Thillaiyadi became the natural choice for holding the celebrations, organisers said.

The celebrations were organised jointly by the Indo-South African Friendly Relationship Association, wards of freedom fighters, village panchayat and village welfare association.

Hundreds of students in the village organised a marathon from Mayiladuthurai to Thillaiyadi holding the National Flag and a torch. A total of 150 lamps were lit at the end of the marathon. Some 15 University students from South Africa also participated in the celebrations.

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