1st female elected Chair of Grove/Diamond NDC

For the first time in the history of the Grove/Diamond Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), a female — in the person of educator Indrani Ramnarine — is heading this NDC.
This East Bank Demerara NDC held its elections on Thursday morning, and Ramnarine, of Constituency 6, was elected Chairperson, while Ulric Paul of Constituency 2 was elected Vice Chair. The votes were unanimous.
Following the recent hosting of the Local Government Elections (LGE), the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) secured 14 out of a total of 18 seats on that NDC, while A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) secured four seats.
The new members of the Grove/Diamond NDC were subsequently sworn-in.
Speaking with Guyana Times, the newly elected Chairperson expressed gratitude to her fellow council members for reposing confidence in her.
The 38-year-old resident of Golden Grove New Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara is a teacher at Providence Primary School, where she previously held the post of acting Head-teacher, and currently sits on the Literacy Committee of Region Four’s Education Department.
A teacher by profession for the past 24 years, Ramnarine is also the Chair of the Women’s Arm of the East Bank Demerara Prant of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS).
“I’m humbly elated… My nomination was unanimous, and so was my election; so I felt honoured by it. And I am very much thankful for this opportunity,” she told this publication.
According to Ramnarine, high on her agenda as Chair of the NDC are matters relating to infrastructure maintenance; enhancement of the environment; senior citizens and social welfare, including education, since there are a number of schools in the area.
“Citizens’ partnership and development of the community is really my focus,” she added.
The newly elected Chair further noted that drainage and irrigation in the area is something which she observes needs more work, and irresponsible dumping of garbage in areas where persons are residing needs to stop.
Another matter Ramnarine posited that she would like to look into is getting citizens, especially from the Grove/Diamond New Scheme, to be registered within that Local Authority in time for the 2020 General and Regional Elections.
However, the Grove/Diamond NDC has been in the limelight regarding an investigation into the embezzlement of over $20 million by a former employee of the local authority.
The former NDC Chairman, Bharrat Narine, who was re-elected in his constituency, had been advocating for the probe to be completed.
“Since this matter was exposed, the Auditor General’s Office visited and said they have a lot of work, and that is all we have heard from them; and this is not good enough, as with only 60 per cent of the internal audit completed, we found that $21 million were missing. And with the remaining 40 per cent completed, it is estimated to be around $30-35 million,” Narine had stated at a Regional Accounting Committee (RAC) meeting back in April.
The former NDC Head had noted that the matter continues to remain in the hands of the Auditor General, whom he said doesn’t seem interested in doing anything about it.
“Madam Chair, this matter has been with the AG’s Office since last year, and nothing has happened. We are exceptionally hurt, because it has been so long and nothing has happened. I know that you and your office have been seeking to help in having this matter properly addressed; however, nothing has happened. We have been raising this matter over and over at all levels of meetings being held here at the RDC, but nothing has happened; and I am aware that you, Regional Chairman, have been trying to have it addressed,” he said.
Nevertheless, Ramnarine assures that she will be continuing her predecessor’s efforts to have the probe fully completed and the perpetrator brought to justice.