Community: The City will have an Indian Community Centre soon
(caption for the above picture: It will be similar to the Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland. Picture courtesy - Auckland Indian Association)
- several organisations have come together to form the Canterbury Indian Community Centre Trust
In a major development recently, the Indian community - across all city-based organisations, associations, trusts and community groups - have for the first time joined hands to pool in resources to work towards building an Indian community centre in Christchurch.
To be built under the aegis of soon-to-be-registered Canterbury Indian Community Centre Trust (CICCT), the multi-purpose facility will require something in the tune of $1.2 million, fund raising for which will start soon and hopefully be completed in the next two years, informed Rajiv Gulati, one of the main initiators of the project.
"With the number of Indians immigrating to Christchurch growing continuously, having a place like this is an obvious after-effect. While our long-term vision is to provide sports and educational facilities, a library on Indian culture and history, a small museum depicting the journey of Indians in the South Island, as well as providing a place for cultural, religious and matrimonial celebrations, all at one place; we will start with something basic and grow from there," Gulati added.
Hearteningly, the local community leaders who often are criticized for not willing to put aside their differences, have all united for this project. "That was the whole idea. We want this to be an Indian community project. Not this or that group's project. And everyone has responded favourably to the initiative. Few who are still not on board, talks are ongoing, and am sure with time they will become a part of this too," Gulati noted.
The CICCT - whose trust deed is being finalised now - will have 25 members, including 13 trustees, who will have a tenure of one year. The Trust, which already has started working informally, is also trying to garner support from several Indian religious organisations in the City.
“We have identified few potential sites in Marshlands and Belfast, with ample parking spaces, which can be shared by various organisations. In time, we hope to get some support from the Christchurch City Council, and importantly, the Indian High Commission, to make this dream of having an Indian community centre in Christchurch a reality,” Gulati concluded.