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New Jersey Arya Samaj reaches out to alcoholic mother of 11

By admin / Posted on 22 August 2011

 

August 21, 2011 | By | Filed Under News

At age 45-years-old, Jitwantie Singh is a self confessed alcoholic who resides at Lusignan on the East Coast of Demerara.
Over the years she has been desperately battling alcohol abuse while trying to raise eight of the 11 children she brought into this world.Needless to say, life has been hard for her but it’s the children that are the concern of everyone who come into contact with the family. Singh’s plight is so similar to many women of her disposition.

Her first husband died suddenly, leaving her to care for the five children she bore him. Since she is devoid of the skills and necessary education to hold down a good job, Singh had to find a way to make life financially comfortable for herself and children. She ended up taking another companion but this time, instead of stability, her life became embroiled in a cycle of violence coupled with the abuse of alcohol. This was compounded by the fact that Singh went on to push out six more children-at least one per year-and life became more miserable.  Things got worse, when last year, Singh’s companion, a fisherman, went to sea and never returned home.

Forced to do whatever domestic work she could find, Singh has fallen on very hard times caring for her children, the last of whom is not yet one-year old. The woman and her children share a shack with no lights and running water, paying a monthly rent of $2000.
From the appearance of the children, meals and clothing appear to be playing second fiddle Singh’s habit. When this newspaper visited the family last Sunday, Singh was still smelling of alcohol, and the children appeared to be longing for a breakfast. However, they found a Good Samaritan in the form of Pandit Suresh Sugrim of the New Jersey Arya Samaj, who donated more than $30,000 in foodstuff to the family. He said that he learnt of the family’s plight from one of the organisation’s advisors.
“After we heard about the situation, one of our advisors was here to take a look and he went back to Berbice and reported about the very nasty situation.”

Pandit Sugrim informed that himself and Avinash Persaud, President of the organisation’s local chapter, visited the family and were overwhelmed by what they saw.
“When we came and we saw the current situation of all these children, this house…you know, it is so sad to find people in a small country like Guyana, living in this state of affairs. In much as I blame her (Singh) for having eleven children, living in this kind of atmosphere where there is no water, no light, toilet facility, is a sad state of affairs,” Pandit Sugrim said.
He said he is relying on the media to highlight the work of his organization so that people in the diaspora could see what is taking place in Guyana.
“A lot of people are under the impression that poverty does not exist in Guyana but when you go into the remote areas and come into situations like this, you will see poverty is to the max,” he said.

He expressed displeasure at the fact that Singh is sending her 13-year old daughter to work when she should be in school.
He also urged that those in authority look at ways of advising women, especially those who live in extreme poverty, against having more children than they can afford to upkeep.
“I am calling on the government, I know they have been trying with a lot of programmes, to help women to prevent them from having these amount of babies,” Pandit Sugrim said, a day before returning to his base in New Jersey, USA.
Singh for her part has pledged to clean up her act and start a new life where her children would see her as a role model so that the cycle of poverty could be halted.

 

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