Vasant Bharath: Name Piarco Airport after Bas

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Vasant Bharath: Name Piarco Airport after Bas

“Government should honour Basdeo Panday’s legacy by naming something after him.”

That’s according to former People’s Partnership minister Vasant Bharath.

He says its imperative that this is done and he even suggested that the Piarco International Airport be renamed the Basdeo Panday airport, in spite of the numerous legal matters that emerged following the airport’s construction.

Bharath, speaking on CNC3’s Morning Brew, said: “I think it’s important that we honour his life and his legacy, as do other countries and with their heroes and their stalwarts. Because it’s so easy to forget. And we can be a very fickle society, seeking instant gratification.”

He said the Piarco International Airport which was a project under the Panday administration is an obvious candidate despite the contention that surrounded its construction.

“It needs to be something, whether it’s the airport—and I know there are issues surrounding that airport—but there needs to be something that when you arrive in Trinidad and Tobago whether you’re a foreigner or whether you’re returning home, that allows us to remember what Panday did,” Bharath said.

Bharath said ultimately it was for the Government to decide but he believes it is important that people are reminded of the late prime minister’s contribution to this country.

Bharath said Panday was a champion of the poor and was sincerely concerned about issues of discrimination and other forms of social injustice.

“His base support was from those people that he helped and who he lifted out of poverty and the record shows that it was not a lot of money in quantum, but in terms of percentage increase, he got salary increases of up to 1,000 per cent,” Bharath said as he added, Panday gave them a new lease on life.

“What that did for those people is it essentially lifted them out of poverty and gave them some level of hope. It allowed their children, for example, to move from being barefooted to being able to get slippers and then to being able to get shoes; it allowed those children who were being kept at home to now be sent to school.”