Friday, August 6, 2021

‘Little India’ precinct announced in Harris Park

It's official!

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

In a historic move, the motion was passed unanimously in Parramatta Council yesterday that a certain section of Harris Park will be named ‘Little India’.

The Little India Australia community group on Facebook had proposed an action plan that would promote ‘Little India’ as a tourist attraction, celebrating vibrant Indian culture and festivals while also developing the existing business network.

Gurmeet Tuli, local businessman and initiator of the movement to rename, told Indian Link, “We have achieved goal we set out to, and are pleased with this decision.”

Parramatta City Council had previously asked the community to voice their opinions about the rebranding of Wigram Street, Marion Street and Station St in the suburb of Harris Park.

Tuli has been working actively since March this year towards this end, to officially have the three streets designated as an Indian cultural precinct.

“Discussions were held with Council, local community, the business community in the area, and the wider Indian community on Sydney,” he recounted. “The discussions were all positive and encouraging, but for one instance when a reporter failed to undertake due diligence and incorrectly reported the facts. This led us to engage deeper with the community at large, and send the message out that only three streets in the business district will be included in this proposed plan. We are grateful to them and to the Council for accepting this proposal. We are hopeful that this new initiative will bode well for the entire area, attracting all manner of visitors to Harris Park and allowing it to flourish even more.”

little India Harris Park-2
The blueprint proposed by the Council. Source: FB

The move follows the promotion of other districts in the city as cultural precincts of Chinese, Italian or Vietnamese heritage.

London, Toronto, Singapore, Hong Kong are some of the world cities that have well-established ‘Little India’ districts.

Going forward Tuli said the plans are for betterment and beautification, but equally to establish a register to document issues and problems and help Council resolve them.

Two cultural events are on the pipeline so far. One is a grand Diwali affair scheduled on 31 October which has already been put to Council. The second is a short Independence Day program on 15 August.

The new development has the support of the Consulate General of India (Sydney). At a recent visit the Consul General Manish Gupta gave enthusiastic support to the suggestion of an India Gate in the precinct.

Another suburb in Sydney’s inner-west, Leichhardt, also became officially recognised as “Little Italy” last week. Leader of the Opposition and prominent Italian-Australian Anthony Albanese welcomed the movie on Twitter.

READ ALSO: A ‘Little India’ in Harris Park

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