SINGAPORE – The Indian community can look forward to better support and more vibrant cultural events in Little India, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by two of its key organisations on Friday (Jul 19).

The Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) and Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha) have agreed to collaborate on several fronts, including raising awareness of community programmes, organising joint events and providing networking opportunities.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s office and Second Minister for Finance and Education Indranee Rajah witnessed the signing, which took place at the Indian Heritage Centre.

Both organisations already collaborate on efforts such as Project Give, Sinda’s annual fundraising event.

Sinda’s chief executive officer Anbarasu Rajendran told The Straits Times that with the agreement, more joint schemes and initiatives will be introduced.

“Lisha, throughout the whole year, conducts a lot of cultural, arts and also many engagement outreach activities throughout the whole year,” he said.

“Sinda would like to latch on it and allow our Sinda beneficiaries to partake in all these events and benefit from it.”

The memorandum states that both organisations will work to “forge a stronger partnership and share resources with one another”.

It also states that merchants of both Little India and Sinda will collaborate in boosting the Indian community and disseminating “key messages”

Mr Rajendran said that one possible area of collaboration is the Deepavali bazaar, which is held for the month before the festival and managed by Lisha.

“The Deepavali bazaar is a whole month of many activities and we hope that through this memorandum of understanding, we can bring in Sinda’s beneficiaries to this event,” he said. “It opens up a gate for many age groups.”

Lisha chairman Rajakumar Chandra said the organisation was established in 2000 to promote Little India’s heritage, culture and commercial activities and organises celebrations for festivals like Pongal, the Tamil New Year and Deepavali.

“This is a community partnership for the benefit of Indians as Little India is a part of every Indian,” he said. “The stakeholders of Little India have the responsibility to contribute back to the community.”