Hansa Saujani: Life Lessons Around The World.
Hansa Saujani’s life in Jinja, Uganda, was active and family-focused. She enjoyed going out for family walks in the local park, festivals at the temple, and weekend drives across the country. From good weather to strong communities, she appreciated the luxuries of the Ugandan lifestyle.
At twenty years of age, while studying in Mumbai, Hansa was distraught to hear the announcement of Ugandan Asian expulsion, fearing for the safety and wellbeing of her family still in Uganda. But despite their struggles, her family remained hopeful and moved forward, leaving behind successful businesses and precious relations, and shifting their livelihoods to the UK. And after finishing her studies in Mumbai, Hansa joined them there.
Adapting to a new way of life in the UK, and feeling at home both at work and in the country more generally, proved challenging for Hansa at first. But with time, she settled in to her new roles, and went on to lead a fulfilling and independent life. She has revisited her old home in Jinja since leaving many decades ago, and although this experience was painful for her at times, she retains fond memories of growing up in Uganda.
Below is an extract from Hansa’s heartening story.
“My brother received a letter from my father fifteen days after the announcement which explained what had happened, and he conveyed the news to me. I was petrified, and extremely worried about the rest of my family back in Uganda.
My father decided to come to India because he owned a property in Jamnagar. Being the business-minded man he was, he bought a shop there which sold children’s clothes. I was thankful to God for saving every member of our family, and I was very proud of Dad: he lost the entirety of his life’s earnings, but he never lost hope. Hats off to him. Eventually, my older brothers came to the UK, and asked my father to join them—and in 1973, he did.”
We will be releasing contributors’ full stories at a later date, so please stay tuned for them. If you would like to read a full story now, then please see the first five stories posted here on our website.
This is a project by AFFCAD UK to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the exodus of Ugandan Asians, by collating and archiving the stories of those involved. If you would like to contribute a story, do get in touch here.