GISOZI - The Indian Community in Rwanda yesterday celebrated its Independence Day and as part of the celebrations, donated Rwf6m towards the development of Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre. India became independent from British rule on August 15, 1947.
Over 250 Indians including children visited the memorial site for the first time to pay homage to the 1994 genocide victims.
“As the Indian community, this is the first time we have visited the memorial site. Some have been here but on personal levels,” said Vinod Tharamal, India’s Consulate General to Rwanda.
He explained that the contribution and visit was a sign of India’s co-operation towards rebuilding Rwanda from the ruins of the 1994 Genocide.
“Much as we saw the bodies littered on the streets, there was little we could do.
It was the UN to help though all they did was call and advise us to stay indoors,” said the Consulate General who was in Rwanda during the Genocide
The Hindu cremate their dead and their religion doesn’t permit them to visit the dead but the Indians have gone ahead to show their solidarity with Rwanda.
Many of those present with red roses could not hold back their emotions as the memorial guide took them through the 1994 events.
“We brought our children with us because they are the future generation.
They should know what happened in Rwanda and help in preaching the never again message which we should all stick to,” explained Vinod.
The Indian community also described the visit to the memorial site as a big step in preaching about healing and the peace that Rwanda has had in the past 15 years.
“Rwanda has for long been famous for the Genocide. This visit is meant to show everyone that Genocide is in Rwanda’s past.
“The country is secure, non-corrupt and welcoming,” said Dr.Jose Ariyappillil Mathai, a Professor at the National University of Rwanda (NUR).
During the visit, young kids got emotional about the pictures and some said they had learnt a lot from the tour.
“I have learnt the importance of loving each other, no human should be against the other,” a child silently told another..
“This is great support towards fighting the Genocide ideology all over the world.
Whenever we get visitors from a different community, we consider them advocates against Genocide wherever they go,” said Lambert Kanamugire, the guide.