How it started
On the initiative of five members of the “Sarnami Nauyavak Sabha”, a committee was set up on February 3, 1971 in connection with the centennial commemoration of the Hindustan Immigration in Suriname on June 5, 1973. The aim of the committee was to lead it there to commemorate this centenary nationwide. In addition, the idea arose to offer the community a lasting gift. To this end, on April 10, 1972, the National Foundation for Hindustan Immigration (NSHI) was established by notarial deed. On November 1, 1973, the Foundation was registered as the first legal entity in the Foundation Register of the Ministry of Justice and Police under number ST 001.
The board worked intensively on the preparations for the centenary and organized fund-raising activities for the gift to the community. The architecture firm ARTO was then commissioned to prepare the design of the gift, namely a general community center on more than 2 hectares of leasehold land, located in Paramaribo on the then extended Tweede Rijweg, now called Lalla Rookhweg in Paramaribo .
On June 5, 1973, at the celebration and commemoration of 100 years of Hindustani Immigration, the foundation stone for the construction of the Lalla Rookh complex was laid. However, the actual construction work was only started in 1977, after financing had been arranged in the context of development cooperation with the Netherlands on the basis of 25% (NSHI) own contribution and 75% Dutch development funds. The total budget was then Nf. 8,000,000. On Saturday December 13, 1980, the complex was partially and unofficially put into use.