The Bombay East Indian Association (BEIA) will celebrate its 125th anniversary at the Bandra Gymkhana on Saturday.
The association, which has 6,200 registered members, has organised a traditional East Indian evening, complete with folk songs and delicacies such as vindaloo served with oodles of nostalgia on Saturday. “Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will also participate in the event and address the community's concerns,” said Donald Aguiar, 60, general secretary, BEIA.
The BEIA was the earliest establishment set up to unite the East Indian community during the British era in 1887. “When the association was formed, there were only 15 members. However community members soon started registering in large numbers to use the association as a platform to be heard,” added Aguiar.
This year, the association also hopes to set up an operational office in the suburbs to carry on administrative work. “Over the years, most of our community members migrated to the north of the city,” said Aguiar. Since 1965, the association has been organising its monthly meetings at a space allotted to them inside the Bandra Gymkhana, but have not had a well-defined office space to carry on their administrative work since then. “We have approached the state's minorities' commission seeking help, but are still awaiting their reply,” he added.