Report by Akshya Rout; Jajpur: A 47- year -old civil servant of Mauritius is in a mission to search his root in Jajpur district of Orissa after he discovered some rare Odia language handwritten letters including some important documents and Odia written slokhas in his house.
Ramroop Jugurnauth, 47, works as a civil servant in the Human Resource cadre in the Ministry of Civil Service of Mauritius and lives with his wife and two daughters in Beau Bassin, in Mauritius. He discovered after gleaning through dusty papers in the Mahatma Gandhi immigration archive in Mauritius that his great-great grand –father came to Mauritius on 30.11.1870 from Jajpur in Orissa as an indentured labourer in a ship ‘Alumger’ bearing no- 1193 .
“I took keen interest from my childhood to gather information about my roots as my grand-father used to speak about his family,” Jugurnauth told this paper in an online interview through email. To substantiate his claim, Jugurnauth has sent to this paper scanned the copies of some handwritten papers in Oriya that he discovered from his house. He also sent the photograph of his family.
This is not all. “I also carried out research at the Immigration Archives in Mauritius and found that my ancestors were Brahmin born,” he said. “ Two years back I and my family members visited India to see some important religious places . We visited Kedarnath , Badrinath ,Rishikesh, New Delhi and other places. As ill luck would have it , we could not visit Orissa after one of my daughters fell ill. I will visit all the four important religious places (Char Dhams) including Puri soon.. I have been frantically searching my root in Orissa for which I will also visit Orissa soon”, added Jugurnauth.
Talking about his family history he stated “ When slavery was abolished, the colonial masters of Mauritius, that is the British, had to find ways and means to sustain the development of the island for their own interests. So they had recourse to indentured labour from India, which was also their colony at that time. I would like to be able to trace back my roots and to know from where exactly my ancestor came and why not to establish links. My family name is in fact the name of my migrant ancestor. Most probably, my family name would have been different there.
My great -great grandfather, Juggurnauth Immigrant No.352036 (this is how indentured workers were all identified), came to Mauritius as an indentured worker in 1870.
“The copy of the archives record that I found in Mauritius shows that one of his sons, Satta Bajee, was the father of my grandfather Shyamsoondur and my father was Parmeswar,” he said. Jugurnauth has two daughters Chitra and Kritika, aged 10 and 8 respectively. His family has Mauritian nationality. His wife, Kesha, is an Indian music teacher in secondary schools in Mauritius. She graduated in north Indian classical music from the University of Mauritius.