'God has answered my prayers'

For the first time in years, Salmat­tie Garib­s­ingh is look­ing for­ward to her birth­day on No­vem­ber 4.

Garib­s­ingh, who is blind and bedrid­den, was vis­it­ed by of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment on Wednes­day at her Are­na Road, Freeport home.

Help came af­ter Guardian Me­dia high­light­ed her liv­ing con­di­tions on Tues­day. She was promised three grants, one to com­plete her home, an­oth­er to in­stall elec­tri­cal wiring and the third to fur­nish the house. She was al­so promised a food card and a new wheel­chair.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia af­ter the vis­it, a tear­ful Garib­s­ingh de­scribed the min­istry’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives and mem­bers of the pub­lic who have reached out to help her as "an­gels."

“God will bless them, I am so hap­py to­day that they come to vis­it and promise to help me. My birth­day is No­vem­ber 4, I will have a good birth­day this year, I feel like God is an­swer­ing all of my prayers,” she said. 

“In a few weeks, I won’t get wet on my bed when rain falls and I will have a new wheel­chair to move about in.”

Garib­s­ingh, 62, lives with her hus­band Ma­hadeo Rag­bir, 58, and their son, Mitchell Rag­bir, 23.

Ma­hadeo is of­ten un­well as he suf­fers from an en­larged prostate and high blood pres­sure, which leaves him un­able to hold a steady job.

Mitchell has no for­mal ed­u­ca­tion or train­ing as he left school at age ten to care for his moth­er when her left foot was am­pu­tat­ed due to com­pli­ca­tions from di­a­betes. He re­mains his moth­er’s pri­ma­ry care­giv­er, giv­ing her baths, feed­ing her and giv­ing her med­ica­tion on a dai­ly ba­sis.

The fam­i­ly de­pends most­ly on the $1,800 dis­abil­i­ty grant that Garib­s­ingh use to buy their food, pay util­i­ty bills and buy her med­ica­tion.

Garib­s­ingh was able to join a  sou sou ear­li­er this year and used those funds to be­gin con­struct­ing a home. She was able to com­plete the foun­da­tion and walls but the house re­mains bare of any win­dows or doors and the roof is in des­per­ate need of re­pair. Al­ready, a donor has stepped to spon­sor the cost of the roof.

- by Sharlene Rampersad

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