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Seychelles leader's journey to land of his ancestors in Bihar

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

His great-grandfather left the Indian shores over 130 years ago, and now Seychelles' of Opposition Ramkalawan is all set to undertake an "emotional journey" tomorrow to reconnect to his roots in a village in

Ramkalawan, who was born in the island nation in 1961, and is currently the of Opposition in the National Assembly of Seychelles, is here for the first conference of persons of Indian origin (PIO) parliamentarians from across the globe.

"Part of the mission, part of my personal mission, is what I consider to be an emotional one. My great grand-father left in 1883, from his village called Parsauni, and travelled down to

"And from there, he took a train to (now Kolkata) and from did a 10-12 week-long sea voyage to He was then placed in a sugarcane plantation," he said.

Ramkalawan, who shared the journey of his forefathers, last evening during a talk session hosted by the Indian Council of at the Sapru House here, said his odyssey to the ancestral village will be the "first such journey" undertaken by anyone from

The at present heads the National Assembly's Outer Island Committee, the and National Reconciliation and the

The leader of the National Party, who heads the National Assembly's Outer Island Committee, the Committee for Truth and National Reconciliation and the Finance and Public Accounts Committee, emphatically said, he was taking the journey, because, he did not to "lose my roots".

"No one from has done this kind of research, so I am proud of it. I want to go back and see what I can contribute to in making the lives of my distant relatives better," he said.

Going down memory lane, Ramkalawan, a Christian by faith, also narrated the journey of his ancestors from to Seychelles.

"When my great-grandfather died at the age of 48, his wife and two sons sent left and came to Seychelles. So, my grandfather came to Seychelles and married a local woman, and my father was born of that relationship.

"And, part of mission I have is... I want to go back and see the village where my great grandfather came from, to find out my roots," he said.

Ramkalawan said the village has been identified and tomorrow with the "help of my friends and the Indian government", he will be going to

"Hopefully, I will be able to catch up with the relatives of my grandfather... I do not want to lose my roots," he said.

The leader, also shared the connection with the first settlement of Seychelles, when 28 people had landed on its shores.

"In 1778, when the first settlement took place, of the 28 people who landed in Seychelles, 15 were white, seven Africans, five Indians and one black woman. So, and Seychelles go a long way back," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 17:25 IST