Then India Sanmarga Ikya (NZ) Sangam

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30 October 2013

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Namaskaram

The Executives, Trustees and members of the Then India Sanmarga Ikya (NZ) Sangam would like to wish everyone a

Happy and Prosperous Diwali

History >> First General Manager - Mr M. N. Naidu

(Courtesy of Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam, Fiji Website www.sangamfiji.com)

Late Mr M Narainswamy Naidu, popularly known as M.N. Naidu throughout Fiji, and a well known prominent founder member of Sangam, was one of the first two Vice-Presidents of the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam of Fiji elected at the first General Meeting of Sangam held at Nadi on 26 May 1926.  

His philanthropy and liberal donations to Sangam and many other organisations earned him the title of "Dhaanaveer" amongst South Indians of Fiji.  In formative years of Sangam he worked closely with Sadhu Kuppu Swamy and other prominent South Indians of the day to build Sangam into one of the most strongest and powerful Socio - educational organisations of Fiji.  The late Honourable A.D. Patel, a close friend of Mr Naidu's, was also brought into Sangam.

Mr Naidu, who was born in Tenkasi Village in the Triuneleveli district of South India, first came to Fiji in 1907 and was stationed in Labasa, where he served his 'girmit'.  Being one of the few amongst South Indians who could read and write in Tamil, he soon became the acknowledged leader of the South Indian Community in Labasa, helping the indentured immigrants to establish contacts and correspond with their relatives in India.  To provide entertainment and help preserve their culture and traditions, he wrote and directed plays for the benefit of his community.

By 1914, Mr Naidu had moved to Lautoka to establish his own business which rapidly grew into a chain of stores extending from Nadi to Ba.  In the early nineteen-twenties, he had established his Naidu School at Namoli, Lautoka providing free education to a large number of youngsters, many of whom came from distant villages and were accommodated at his own house at Lautoka.  Amongst the members of the school staff were late Pandit Vishnu Deo (Later Honourable), Pandit Hublal Sharma, Velaidan Pillay and K. P. Joseph.  When the Lovu Sangam School was built, Mr Naidu transferred all his school furniture and fittings to Lovu.  He was elected the first manger of Lovu Sangam School.

In 1926 Mr Naidu established a free library at Nadi, which along with the building and land, was later donated to the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam in memory of Late Mrs Sitammal, one of his many adopted children.  Today this property houses the Nadi Ashram of the Rama Krishna Mission of Fiji.

With the close contact that Mr Naidu maintained with the Rama Krishna Mission in India, he was instrumental in inviting Swamy Avinashananda to visit Fiji to consolidate the Sangam.  This was followed by arrival of Swamy Rudrananda and late Mr N. Ramakrishna B.A.L.T., who took over the management of Sangam and Sangam schools.

First General Manager - Mr M. N. Naidu