The Swadhinata Trust is a London based secular Bengali heritage group that works to promote Bengali history and heritage amongst young people.

Crowd at the Brick Lane mela 2011. Photo copyright Mohiuddin Siddique, Eye CultureThe Swadhinata Trust has been operating since November 2000, offering seminars, workshops, exhibitions and educational literature to young people in schools, colleges, youth clubs and community centres.

The Swadhinata Trust promotes Bengali history and culture to ensure its representation as an essential part of the history of Britain and by extension, our contemporary world.

The need for such a Trust has arisen from a sense that, an absence of documentation and social data representing Bengalis' heritage, historical presence and achievements, can contribute towards a sense of marginalisation, low self-esteem and alienation of young people in particular, as part of a minority ethnic community within wider society. This in turn, can limit their participation and contributions to mainstream culture.

As part of its goal to promote Bengali culture for a wider audience, the Swadhinata Trust seeks to establish a centre whose main activity will be in the field of culture, research and education. Swadhinata Trust also proposes to develop a series of projects which will enable it to generate income through which to further support its activities. It aims to operate as a community and 'not-for-profit' business, selling educational material, teaching and consultancy services to statutory, voluntary and community sector agencies initially in Tower Hamlets and ultimately, nationwide. The establishment of an archival facility with a focus on the history of Bengalis in Britain is also envisaged as a complement to its educational activities and local history tours exploring the presence of Bengalis in Tower Hamlets.

Please support us

Since its establishment in 2000, the Swadhinata Trust has become the single point of contact for all things Bengali. And from our inception, we’ve always been here to help – dealing with enquiries and giving advice about the Bengali community.

From 2009 to March 2010, we’ve had almost 200 enquiries. We have worked with primary and secondary schools as well as youth groups in a number of London Boroughs including Tower Hamlets. Our most recent exhibition has been seen by over 200 people in the borough.

Unfortunately the Trust is experiencing worst financial situation since its inception. We urgently need to raise £10,000 to cover our running costs.

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