The National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) is hoping Government will increase its subvention for the Divali Nagar this year as it estimates it will cost around $5 million to successfully stage the nine nights of festivities.
“We got $500,000 last year,” said Surujdeo Mangaroo, public relations officer for the NCIC.
Mangaroo said running a successful Divali Nagar is a costly business and the NCIC generates revenue through sponsorship and the renting of booths.
“We are getting and we are hopeful that we get some more major sponsors this year,” he said.
Mangaroo said all of the booths have been sold but he is still anticipating that the NCIC will incur a loss after the event.
“I’m sure we will be in a deficit this year, definitely. I can’t say the amount but when we work out the figures we will be in a deficit,” he said.
But he said the show will go on.
“Things are looking up. Regardless of what we will continue with the Nagar, funding or no funding, and I know our public is very generous.”
Guardian Media attempted to contact Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, to find out if there will be an increase or if any subvention will be given at all, but all calls to her cell phone went unanswered.
On Monday, the First Felicity Ramleela Group said it got nothing from the state to sponsor its Ramleela celebrations.
The Divali Nagar is expected to begin on Friday and this year’s theme will be Hindu Grantha which translates to Hindu Text. It will be a celebration of Hinduism’s Holy Books. Mangaroo also announced that for the first time there will also be a Ramleela dramatization which will start on the second night.
Story by AKASH SAMAROO
Image caption: Public Relations Officer for the NCIC, Surujdeo Mangaroo (centre) oversees work taking place at the Divali Nagar site for this year’s Divali celebrations.