Aranguez taxi drivers celebrate Eid

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

President of the Aranguez Taxi Driver’s Association Ramchandra Temal, right, offers sawine and refreshments to a passer by during Eid celebrations at the Aranguez taxi stand, San Juan, on Thursday. – Photo by Shane Superville

While the country celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on Monday, the Aranguez Taxi Drivers’ Association continued to extend greetings and best wishes to the Muslim community with a brief ceremony in San Juan on Thursday.

Speaking with Newsday, president of the association Ramchandra Temal said outside of lobbying for taxi drivers working the San Juan to Aranguez route, the association also took pride in being able to foster a closer sense of community with residents and businesses.

Temal said the association has hosted other celebrations on the Aranguez taxi stand, in the past and wanted to strengthen ties with the community by having a simple gesture.

He said this was the first Eid celebration of its kind on the taxi stand, but was hopeful it could become an annual tradition, and thanked local businesses for their support in donating materials for sawine and other refreshments.

“Some time ago we held Divali celebrations on the taxi stand, we had Christmas celebrations, so I feel it’s only approriate to show our respect to the Muslim community and have a small gesture in honour of them.”

He said they came up with the idea about two months ago and began planning.

“We had a lot of support from the business community in the area, places like the Aranguez Hardware, the Tooltime Hardware and the Glimmer of Hope Foundation.”

Temal said he also received significant support from the Hunters Search and Rescue Team.

President of the Aranguez Taxi Drivers’ Association Ramchandra Temal, left, stands with opposition senator Anil Roberts and Barataria/ San Juan MP Saddam Hosein at the Aranguez taxi stand, San Juan, on Thursday. – Photo by Shane Superville

Newsday also spoke to Barataria/ San Juan MP Saddam Hosein, who also attended the event, and said he was heartened by the support from Temal and the association.

He added that such events were needed, as public health restrictions were being lifted, to bring a sense of community back to different parts of the country.

“The intent today is to really bring some cheer for Eid. We just celebrated it on Monday and this is the first time we can actually be outside after the restrictions have been lifted.

“We must also take note of the suffering that we have seen over the past two years and initiatives such as this, to bring some level of ease and celebration to the community, are always appreciated and welcomed throughout the country.”

During the event refreshments including snacks and sawine were distributed to passers-by.