New stage added to Guyana’s Indian memorial

Port of Spain, April 27 (IANS) A new multi-million dollar stage has been added to Monument Garden, a memorial site for the ancestors of Guyana’s ethnic Indians in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago capital, Georgetown.

The stage has been built by the Indian Commemoration Trust (ICT) with general contributions from the people, Kaiteur News reported Saturday.

Monument Garden was built to commemorate the memory of the ancestors of ethnic Indians in Guyana, who had come to that country in the 19th and early 20th centuries to work as indentured labourers in the sugarcane fields.

The stage was commissioned Friday ahead of a series of programmes planned for May 4-5 to mark the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first Indian in that country.

The first Indians had arrived in Guyana from India May 5, 1838.

Speaking at the event to commmission the stage, ICT chairman Yesu Persaud related the symbolism of the stage and said that this generation should be grateful theose early Indians whose hard work and toil contributed to the building of modern-day Guyana.

The new stage, he said, is a tribute to those Indian ancestors.

Guyana’s culture minister, Frank Anthony, said that the new structure was by extension a truly cultural place for Guyanese.

Dwelling on the struggles of the early Indians, Anthony compared the cruelty meted out to indentured labourers to slavery which was endured by Africans and marked with inhumanity.

At the function, a wall for remembering Indians in Guyana who had made significant

contributions was also unveiled.

Among those present at the function were India’s high commissioner to Guyana, Puran Mal Meena, Georgetown mayor, Hamilton Green, and town clerk, Carol Saboo.

There are over 400,000 ethnic Indians in Guyana.

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