Minister Persaud condemns brutal attack on elderly, women

-says penalties for such acts need to be reviewed

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud has condemned the brutal attacks meted out to the elderly and women, and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

During an outreach in Region Six on Saturday, Minister Persaud visited the home of the 98-year-old woman who was attacked in her Rose Hall home. The Minister, who was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Ms. Shannielle Hoosein-Outar, interacted with the woman and handed over a quantity of supplies. Counselling would also be provided for the woman.

This gentleman shares a quiet word with Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud as he collects his pair of spectacles.

“It left us very emotionally stirred up because we went to her home and there she was. I’m told she has an education background and she lives in a home without water and light and the neighbours look after her. I just want the perpetrators to be brought swiftly to justice,” she said.

The Minister condemned the atrocities meted out to the woman, noting that no one should have to endure such an experience. She also said the penalties attached to the act should be reviewed.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud presents this woman with her pair of spectacles.

“Sometimes we think that penalties are not harsh enough and maybe we need to relook at that. It may not be a popular sentiment, but people should not be allowed to get away with that kind of thing in this country, not against anyone and certainly not against elderly people,” she said.

Minister Persaud also said her Ministry is collaborating with the National Commission of the Elderly to look at programmes to further improve the lives of senior citizens.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud presents this gentleman with his pair of spectacles

“Maybe we have to start to look at how our elderly people can be safe, what we should do to ensure elderly who lives alone are safe and what precautions we should take and other things to improve their livelihood,” she added.

The Minister and her team also visited three young children whose mother was recently killed by their father. The children are now in the custody of their grandmother. Minister Persaud handed over several hampers, with school supplies and toys to the children. The eldest child was also presented with an electronic tablet for education purposes.

A woman displays her pair of spectacles handed over at Albion

The Ministry, through the Childcare Protection Agency, will continue to make checks to ensure the children are comfortable and can access education. Counselling would also be provided for the family.

“We do have to work harder.  I have to work harder, but I can’t do it alone, the Ministry cannot do it alone to root out the ills of substance abuse and this thing called violence that pervades into every nook and corner of this country and hurts people deeply,” she said.

Some of the hampers that were handed over during the outreach.

Meanwhile, Minister Persaud delivered 69 pairs of spectacles to persons in need in Albion. This was in fulfilment of a promise she made to residents earlier last month during an outreach at the Albion Community Ground. The residents benefitted from free eye tests during the outreach. The initiative was a collaboration between the Ministry and Revision Optical, which provided the spectacles at a reduced cost.