Wonder how many of us growing up in rural communities in Trinidad remember the Village Panchayat ? The word “panchayat” literally means “assembly” (ayat) of ( panch) wise and respected elders chosen and accepted by the local community to give advise or settle disputes among individuals.
My grandfather Prabudhas, was employed as a lawyer's clerk in the 1950s, therefore the villagers of Quarry Village, considered him the village elder and thus they would seek his advise and bring their problems to him . As a little child growing up I always wondered why so many people paid him regular visits on an afternoon. When asked my father said " they having a panchayat".
Now that I reflect the concept of the Village Panchayat was in the early 1950s and 60s a novel approach adopted by village elders in settling disputes and solving problems of villagers in a peaceful manner
Source: Virtual Museum of T&T
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