Allow me to share some experiences over the past few days. Random as they may seem there is a not too subtle connection which I hope and pray the Executive and Parliament will take action to deal with in order to give a necessary moral rudder to our Ship of State. Further, to obtain, as my friend C.N. Sharma says, justice for all. A look from the outside is always useful. On my way to a speaking engagement in Port of Spain, Trinidad the taxi driver expressed what he claimed were the views of some other Trinis, that very soon Guyana will surpass T&T as the economic giant in the Region. He talked about the price of gold, timber, marine products and hydro.
He could be right, however the question is will the present system allow the average citizen to share in the bonanza. Moreover will this large amount of cash improve the quality of life for the general population? You see going north to Miami I was shown some mini castles owned by a few well connected, fairly young Guyanese. At the same time we have residents in some rural communities without electricity and a reliable supply of potable water.
Every society has its challenges, but there is no good reason why today ordinary Guyanese should not enjoy much better service in these three vital areas
First, Education, it is no secret we now have a widening gap between the top we hear so much about, and the others who go without teachers and proper facilities.
Second, Health, in spite of the many millions voted and collared by a select few, people must go without certain drugs at our public institutions. Poor people are forced to beg and borrow to pay at the private hospitals. Some without the means to beg, borrow or steal for medical treatment they and their loved ones must settle for a spot in a disgraceful, ugly Le Repentir cemetery.
Lastly culture and recreation (sport). People develop a sense of pride and nation based on the level reached in these two areas. When sums are spent the impression is gained that it is to enrich those castle builders. I gave a recent example of absurd sums spent to build a swimming pool at a location that was not earlier proposed as part of the Georgetown Development Plan. Take a serious look at culture. It was a joy in Trinidad to see how well their Music Festival was organized and executed. You had people performing on every musical instrument. The irony is in the 70s Guyana was ahead of most countries in the region. Indeed we brought this to the fore when Guyana initiated and hosted the first Carifesta in 1972.
Government needs to recognize that these things mean a lot. They lift our spirits and help bring people together in an appropriate environment. What we see is an attempt by the government to control sport using some of their bullies. Cricket, football – swimming is on the horizon. All of our religious leaders need to break their silence on these matters Let us work for a change so that in every school there is a musical and structured sports programme, for if we do not insist we will produce a generation of cultural barbarians compliments of the administration.