President, First Lady present awards to Diwali Motorcade winners
Georgetown, GINA, November 3, 2013
Patrons turned out in their numbers much earlier than usual at La Bonne Intention (LBI) Community Centre ground last evening for the highly anticipated annual grand Diwali Motorcade.
The presence of Bollywood singer Jeffrey Iqbal in the lineup of artistes may have been a contributor to the large turnout which was evident long before the parade of floats started entering the ground.
Iqbal who first appeared at the Diwali Utsav one week ago at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) along with Gunjun Singh, staged similar performances in Essequibo and Berbice.
In his melodious voice, the American born artiste who was the final act performed a number of hit songs done by himself and other Bollywood artistes, much to the satisfaction of the audience.
President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar with the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) and their Diwali motorcade float
President Donald Ramotar turned up along with First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds to catch the performances, as the brightly lit Diwali floats made their way into the LBI ground.
Floats participated in the small and large category and were judged by a panel that included Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony and Philbert Gajadar among others.
Prior to the announcement of the winners, the judges explained the criteria used for awarding or deducting scores. Mishaps like the ones experienced on some floats where the generator failed, causing the lights to go out, cost some of the participants.
President Donald Ramotar and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds take a close up look at Diwali motorcade floats
In the end, the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) was adjudged the overall best float. The news was met with loud cheers and the majority of members went up on stage to receive the trophy from President Ramotar and the First Lady.
The Better Hope Mandir copped the first prize for the large category while in the small float category, the Success Mandir came in first.
President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar present a trophy to members of the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) for being judged the overall best Diwali motorcade float
In the commercial category, the winning prize went to Edward B. Beharry and for the most creative, Rosignol Sanatan Dharma (small) and the Golden Om Mandir (large).
As a show of appreciation, the organising body for the annual event, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, handed out gifts to the first-time participants.
President Ramotar who will be hosting a cultural event this evening to commemorate the religious holiday, said in his remarks at the motorcade, that Diwali has a wealth of relevant messages.
“It is as you know, the victory of good over evil, the victory of light over darkness, the victory of knowledge of ignorance and these are all things that we have been working for,” President Ramotar said.
President Donald Ramotar delivering remarks to a large gathering at the LBI Community Centre Ground during the Diwali Motorcade
In the face of a political opposition that has been reluctant to meet eye-to-eye with the government of numerous priority issues, President Ramotar said, “we stand solid in the faith that good will triumph over evil,” as told in the message of Diwali.
This year’s celebration was the first without the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s founder Reepu Daman Persaud who passed away . He was honoured along with the late President, Dr. Cheddi Jagan for their role in the struggle for democracy and the preservation of culture.