Kolkata: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday inaugurated the 'Suriname Memorial' here to honour thousands of Indian workers who were forced to migrate to the South American country as labourers for sugar plantations.
"This memorial is not only in the honour of those who went to Suriname but thousands of our forefathers forced to migrate to other countries as indentured workers," Swaraj said at the inauguration.
"There are numerous heart-rending stories of Indian indentured workers who faced numerous hardships. It was their endurance, hard work and determination that they not only survived despite all odds, but went on to become successful in all fields. Two of Suriname's presidents - Ramsewak Shankar and Ramdat Misier - were of Indian origin," she added.
She also lauded the Indian diaspora in foreign countries for preserving Indian culture and values and tradition.
West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi and Bengal Minister Amit Mitra were also present there.