Dancer recently showed off their skills at the annual Youth Champ competition hosted by the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) at the Gulf City auditorium. Twenty participated in the semi-final round and the following ten will be moving on to the Divali Nagar final on October 15:
Shiv Tandava Dance Group, Nritya Sangam Dance Group, Bollywood Dance Academy, Kiss Natraj Dance Group, Karan Rampersad, Tridevi Dance Group, Khalnayak Dance Academy, Amritam Shakti Dance Group, Vedanta Suraj and Asha Maharaj and Priya Persad.
In the song category ten finalists were chosen: Stephon Jaikaran, Akshay Khandoo, Jovam Luke Rambaran, Cherish Ragoonanan, Prakash Ramcharan, Abhijit Anchotassoo, Vishala Valya Dowtal, Renaldo Balgobin, Kimlyn Crystal Boodram, Sapna Seepaul and Satyam Vishesh Bridgelal.
PRO of the NCIC, Surujdeo Mangaroo said that this year’s Divali presentation promises to be exciting. “These dancers and singers are extremely talented,” he said, adding that he expects a spectacular Youth Champ contest this year.
The council will honour Pundit Hardeo Persad who is the head of SWAHA in TT. Persad is the recipient of the Medal of Merit Award for Public Service in 2011. He is a past teacher of St George’s College, Barataria and Sangre Grande Junior Secondary School and special teacher Morvant/Laventille Secondary School. He is also a former cricket coach.
He is the founder of the Aranjuez Cultural Organisation and president of the Gyaan Deepak Kirtan Mandali of Aranjuez Main Road, San Juan. Persad also served as a secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Fiver Rivers, Arouca.
He is the director of Swaha Social Services and established the Swaha Vishok Bhavan (Children’s Home) in Penal (2008). He also set up SWAHA ‘s first pre-school in Aranjuez and first secondary school in Sangre Grande.
In 2011 Persad lead a team of religious teachers to Mathura, India, which is believed to be the home of Bhagavan Krishna.