‘Moon’ thought life could get no better but it did

By admin / Posted on 30 August 2010

Saturday, August 15, 2009

They thought their life could get no better. Seeking shelter under an old wooden table as rain fell through the porous zinc sheet roof was the way of life for 61-year-old Gladys Madramootoo, called ‘Moon’, and her surviving son David, a forty-five-year-old drainage and irrigation foreman, attached to the Canefield Enterprise Neighbourhood Democratic Council in East Canje, Berbice.

The house where Gladys and her son David Madramootoo lived at Reliance, East Canje, Berbice. The widow recalled moving to Lot 26 Reliance Settlement at age 13 when she got married to her husband, Daniel, who worked as a ranger in the sugar industry. The house was a gift from her now deceased uncle who had raised her. However, she recalled that life has had its ‘ups and downs’, with her younger son dying at age 8, and then her husband succumbed in 1983 after suffering from a stroke. About eleven years later, high winds blew the modest one-bedroom house off its post and it remained on the ground since. The cost for building materials escalated, she said, making it difficult to raise the required sum to repair the house which had already showed signs of deterioration. There was no electricity, no potable water, no washroom facilities visible to this reporter who along with her colleagues were invited to the area by Pandit Suresh Sugrim, who was heading a drive to have the house replaced by a concrete structure

Her son, David, told Stabroek News that although he plays an integral part in assisting in organizing events for the PPP/C, he never made a request for help. However, he readily acknowledged that promises were made by many persons who knew about his living conditions, but these remained unfulfilled. Changing their lives forever
But everything changed last Sunday when on his return home his mother told him that a gentleman, [Pandit Sugrim] had visited and promised to change their lives forever. “I was not too sure of the promise, as revealed by my mother, but I did not say anything to discourage her,” recounted David, who acknowledged that his mother needed a better life.

Preferred to be called ‘Moon”, the thin-boned woman told this newspaper that she was disgusted with her living conditions but did not have the strength to make a change. “I used to cry many days, especially when it rains. My child, I does hide under a table when it rains. We cannot sleep then, is water all over in the bedroom, sitting room and kitchen.”
Referring to Pandit Sugrim as an angel in disguise, the soft-spoken woman whose hands revealed years of hard work said that after the pandit had visited he was saddened at the conditions under which they lived and promised immediate help.

On Monday, accompanied by Regional Chairman Zulficar Mustapha, who was supported by workers of the Canefield Enterprise NDC, the crew had the overgrown vegetation cleared from the unfenced yard while Memorex Construction, a subsidiary of Amaco Inc, of New Amsterdam consented to free labour, in order to construct a 20×30 ft one-flat, two- bedroom concrete house. The project is estimated to cost US$6000.

Meanwhile the house, which will be furnished by Guyanese Women in Development [GuyWID], a non-governmental agency, will be completed on August 21. Pandit Sugrim is the President of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir Humanitarian Mission which was started in 2005 and has been targeting vulnerable groups across all sectors of the society, regardless of creed, race or political affiliation.



2009, News & Articles


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