In the year 2000, having recognised Little India as a major tourist destination, the Singapore Tourism Board urged its community representatives to form a committee that will be dedicated to promoting Little India’s heritage, cultural and commercial activities. It was in response to this that the Serangoon Merchant’s Association, Little India Restaurant Association and the Hindu Endowments Board helped establish the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association – LISHA.
Along with its role of addressing the concerns and needs of the various concerns of the communities in Little India, LISHA’s main objective is the betterment of Little India as a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic tourist destination in Singapore.
India is known for its festivals and celebrations and therefore it is only right that Little India represent this very distinct attribute of the Indian sub-continent. Therefore, LISHA plays a significant role in organising yearly festivities such as, Deepavali Light Up, Deepavali Festival Village, Pongal Festival, Tamil New Year Celebrations, Singapore Food Festival, Vesak Celebrations and Thaipusam.
LISHA currently is a part of the Indian Heritage Committee and is particularly instrumental in the establishment of the Indian Heritage Centre at Little India. Among its other developments, LISHA is looking forward to the pedestranization of the streets of Little India to promote night markets and cultural activities.
As a part of its social responsibilities LISHA has contributed significantly towards projects such as the SARS Courage Fund, the President’s Challenge, Vesak Bursary Awards, NTU – Rajaratnam School of International Studies Endowment Fund, Tsunami Relief Fund, Mercy Relief Humanitarian Help – raised funds for Sri Lankan citizens affected in the civil war. LISHA also works with SCORE to promote the Yellow Ribbon programme.