Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry is calling on everyone whose lives have not been deprived of the essentials by the COVID-19 pandemic, to remember their less fortunate neighbours and to share their festive fare and happiness with them.
In his Diwali message, Chaudhry says Diwali is generally a time for fun and festivities with homes lit up with the twinkling lights of diyas, candles, and increasingly these days, with colourful and fancy stringed lights.
He says this year, however, his thoughts go out to all those families who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and have neither the means nor the inclination to celebrate Diwali in the normal festive manner.
Chaudhry says they read of the suffering of our people in both rural and urban areas and those who have lost their jobs, or are on reduced pays and restricted working hours.
He says they have read about businesses closing down and families in the urban areas having to go without food for some days in a week. Chaudhry says this is unimaginable in modern day Fiji but that is the sad reality.
He applauded the civil society organisations and their officials who have sacrificed time and money to assist the needy.
Chaudhry says one of the essential messages of Diwali is universal love and the well-being of all those around us.
The Leader of Labour Party also says that he wants people to remember that Diwali is a religious festival, not just a time for fun and gaiety.
Chaudhry says people should commit themselves this year to forego all that is ostentatious, the glitter and the glitz, and to mark the event quietly in our homes with our loved ones, partaking of the Diwali puja and remembering the essential teachings of the Ramayana and Lord Rama.
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