By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – It is the Easter weekend, so I have hope in my heart, as I ponder how much was given to us (me), with so much needing to be given back. As I looked for the encouraging, I came across, in KN, some who are indeed, giving back very quietly and very significantly.
There is the work of the people associated with the George Subraj Foundation, and their extensive humanitarian efforts with kidney patients in Guyana. I am encouraged that there are those Guyanese who went ahead, but could still look back; those who rose up, but do not look down. Rather, they give of themselves, through what they have been blessed with, and so they reach to bless others, by giving them hope, an extension of time, some timely quality care, possibly some quality-of-life ingredients. This Foundation, which is dedicated to philanthropic outreach in a number of areas, and to an increasing number of Guyanese, is a difference maker of distinction; sometimes, it is literally between that of life and death. My hope in this Easter interlude is that other Guyanese would be encouraged to give something, those who are already doing so to give a little more. I am encouraged by these people, and extend a warm thank you.
I am encouraged that His Excellency, President Dr. Irfaan Ali, found the time in his most likely busy schedule, to rail against those who continue to look for ways to extract more dollars than they are legitimately due from contractual relationships with the citizens of this country. It involved some selling dirt at $2,000 a truckload back to villagers in Berbice; pick a multiplier (20 or 30, perhaps more) and soon that adds to a nice number of dollars in the thousands. It should not be, since contractors are being paid enough to make a decent, if not superb, surplus/return from the contracts on which they bid (with their own final price stated) and win. For them, to pursue opportunities to exploit neighbouring citizens with something as tiny as dirt, emphasises the lengths to which they will go to rip the taxpayers of this country, when the big money is involved.
I am encouraged that President Ali has started at this smallest of small points. Now I would be further encouraged – and I think that all Guyanese would be, too – if he and his government would concentrate their time, visions, and energies on how to do right by us, on what is better than a $2,000 truckload of dirt for us. I am thinking of the billions in oil, which will come in various expenses; those can be whittled down considerably, through conscientious and comprehensive leadership strategies and tactics. I would be encouraged to hear and read that the President and his Vice President bring that same powerful anger, that great distaste in their dealings with foreign companies that operate here, and nickel and dime us to the tune of tens of billions, with our natural resources, of which oil stands as the foremost. I think of how those villagers felt when the head of state intervened and raged at the outrage. I would feel the same (and all citizens would too) to be eyewitnesses to that same rage and outrage taking hold on that asset that matters the most. It is oil, not dirt. I would like to thank President Ali some more; I would be most encouraged if he affords me the opportunity, through his government’s patriotic, powerful, and transparent management of the national oil blessing.
In the spirit of tranquility of Easter, I close out with another encouraging event, which this time involved last week’s Phagwah celebrations. It is a festival that brings much individual delight when shared close-up, which the COVID-19 pandemic ruled out with finality. The media reports were of subdued and sensible celebrations of the day in Berbice and Essequibo. It is good to read of this maturity and bow to sobriety by fellow citizens. If we can get more like this, it would be still more encouraging.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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