Kampala, (UG): The Indian Association in Uganda has celebrated the milestone of 101 years of its existence in Uganda during a weekend event held at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala.
During the same ceremony, the community also celebrated their home country’s 76th Independence Day, which was originally observed on August 15.
The Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, and Ms Dorothy Kisaka, the KCCA Executive Director, were among other dignitaries who graced the event.
Mr Santosh Gumte, the Managing Director of Kansai Plascon emphasised the company’s commitment to community support.
Gumte explained that Kansai Plascon, Uganda’s leading paint manufacturer is a long-time supporter of various cultures in Uganda and they were proud to co-sponsor the event.
“We are proud to be part of this vibrant celebration and continue our tradition of giving back to the community. Plascon consistently contributes to the Indian community through monetary support and paint contributions,” he shared.
The event featured captivating performances by top Indian artists such as Shivam Singh, Jared Ali, and Senjuti Das, along with Indian dance groups that electrified the night.
Vibrant cultural outfits and a variety of Indian delicacies added to the colourful atmosphere, making it a memorable night.
Founded in 1922, the association has been a cornerstone of the Indian community in Uganda, fostering peace and promoting social cohesion.
However, the journey was not without its challenges. In 1972, during the rule of H.E. Idi Amin, Indians were expelled from Uganda accusing them of ‘milking Uganda’s money.’
It wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that the Indian community returned to Uganda, and the Indian Association of Uganda was re-established.
Through its charitable activities, the association played a pivotal role in eradicating Indophobia from the Ugandan African community, facilitating the harmonious coexistence of both communities.
Today, the Indian community, despite representing less than 1% of the population, contributes up to 65% of Uganda’s tax revenue, highlighting its significant role in the country’s development.
The mission of the Indian Association in Uganda is rooted in serving the common good, fostering a strong bond between Ugandan Indians and Ugandan Africans, and promoting educational, communal, and artistic well-being.
The association also aims to preserve and advance Indian culture while supporting the local community through initiatives such as schools for sports and education.