In 2013 the Confederation of Indian Organisation commenced a project to collate the history of Leicester’s South Asians People between 1945 and 2013. The project titled Aakruti, researched peoples journeys to Leicester and has culminated in the creation of a website and touring exhibition. To celebrate the culmination of the project the an event was hosted at Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre on 28th October 2014.
The project has recorded the lives of the otherwise unknown pioneers from the Asian community, that have contributed to the success of Leicester. A wide range of people have contributed including a housewives, physicians, radio presenters, social workers, entrepreneurs, sports people, musicians and community activists.
The website also contains a photo archive that builds a picture of events, reflects the local history of South Asian culture and traditions. A touring exhibition has also been developed that will tour Leicestershire in the coming months.
The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by BBC Radio Leicester and Leicester Mercury. Constant inspiration by Leicester University archive dept. The launch event was at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Leicester.
50 in depth video interviews include many unsung heroes: Lilaben Koya, Shaficul Islam, SS Dard, Rohit Trivedi, Sadhna Vaidya, Dr. Gautam Bodiwala, Ajoy Aggarwal, Davindra R Acharya, Sajan Odedra, Atul Pattani, Kanti Lakhani many more,
Tara Mukherjee the first Asian Opening batsman, played in 1948 for Leicestershire and made undefeated century in his debut match will be attending aged 92 along with many participants attended the launch along with BBC Radio Leicester Editor Jane Hill and assistant editor Kamlesh Purohit who were very pleased to be a part of this archive research.
Welcomed by chair of this programme Mr Bhupen Dave, he gave an overview of Research project and archiving life stories around us. Kenneth Lowles talked on project outcome and achievements and future of research. Tara Mukherjee, Devshi Modhvadia and Tanman Patel explained the values of archiving great stories of Leicester. The vote of thanks was given by Dr H D Vyas.
The event was attended by university researchers, Media students, archivist, creative writers, community activists, journalists and participants and project volunteers.
The rich stories of people are now available to view on our website www.asianheritage.info .