Kowsilla, Sakina Mohamed remembered for contributions to political, social life
In memory of two heroines who led the political and social struggles in the 60s and 70s in Guyana, President Irfaan Ali, on Monday, declared opened the Kowsilla Community Park and Sakina Mohamed Computer Lab at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
Dr. Ali, who addressed a gathering of residents and leading political figures, said he was happy to join in celebrating the life of the two distinguished women who lived in Leonora.
Kowsilla became a historical figure in Guyana after she was murdered on March 6, 1964; she was cut in two after being run over by a tractor while standing her ground in protest.
Also known as Alice, Kowsilla was involved in the sugar workers’ struggle for better working and living conditions, paying the ultimate price for upholding her convictions and her principles.
Decades later, Dr. Ali said her fight is needed in these modern days.
“As the world faces challenges, we all have to decide what we would stand for, what are the principles and values that we would stand for, the principles and values that make us a free people, that make us a democratic people,” he said.
The President said both Kowsilla and Sakina Mohamed played a distinguished role in standing up for democracy and freedom.
“So, it is very important to celebrate and build in their honour a piece of history that will outlive all of us.
“These two women came up in a different era when they were greater challenges surrounding women… women were not just contributors to society, women were bearing the brunt of the hardship in society.
Sakina Mohamed was remembered as not just a hard worker in the Women’s Progressive Organisation; she was a leader, a teacher and a coordinator. She was also President Ali’s grandmother.
Dr. Ali recalled that she was among the first women delegation to go to China on behalf of the People’s Progressive Party.
“They understood what it meant for the upliftment of women, communities and the country.
“Today we have to continue that legacy, and that is why this park is so important. This park is the custodian of hope, hope in every single one of us. And we must mark a place in history by standing up to defend the principles and values dear to us,” the Head of State added.
The Sakina Mohamed Computer Lab was particularly important to ensure children can have the access needed to do homework, youths to do research and the general legacy of teaching and learning to continue.
Dr. Ali was joined by the Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar and former Parliamentarian and head of the Progressive Women Organization – the women’s arm of the PPP/C) Indra Chandrapaul.