As the 180th anniversary of the arrival of indentured immigrants approaches, the Indian Action Committee (IAC) has rekindled its advocacy for the celebrations to remain alcohol-free, following advertisements announcing the sale of alcoholic substances.
The IAC in a statement acknowledged that over the years, they have had the support of other organisers, who have upheld the no-alcohol standard.
However, it was felt that there was a need to reiterate that alcohol should not be promoted or consumed at the upcoming cultural events, as promotions which have already begun, reportedly openly advertise the sale of alcohol.
“The IAC strongly believes that the Indian Arrival commemoration events, which promote family values, must be free from the impact of alcohol consumption and promotion. Corporate entities, which over the years have partnered with the IAC to promote these events and which are known for the production of alcohol, must be commended for promoting non-alcoholic beverages and other similar products,” the release stated.
The IAC noted that it has taken a stance against the promotion and consumption of alcoholic beverages since the organization was established in 2003, stating that it was “heartened” that other organisations also joined the advocacy when promoting similar activities.
At the risk of diverting from what has become the established norm at these cultural events, the IAC is making a call for organisers to consider the potential impacts of alcohol use.
“…The IAC, therefore, urges those involved to be mindful of the negative impact these promotions would have not only on the events and the family values intended to be fostered but the additional challenges it poses socially,” the IAC advised.
Although the official anniversary of the arrival of the first batch of East Indian indentured immigrants will be celebrated on May 5th, countrywide events are scheduled for before and after that date.
The IAC is extending an invitation to the public to attend the 15th Grand Annual Cultural Melas, the first to be held on Saturday, April 28th, at the Anna Regina Community Ground, Essequibo, and the other on Saturday, May 5th, at the Albion Sports Complex, Berbice.
Admission to both events is free.