With no place to go, Parika Backdam family seeks help

An injured Devanand Williams, his pregnant wife Savitree and their two children have no place to go after they were asked to leave the Parika Backdam residence they had been occupying.

After being forced to sleep on the street for one night, they are now seeking the public’s help, according to Savitree, who is six months pregnant. Their two children, a boy and girl, are seven and 11, respectively.

The family had been staying with Williams’ employer after he was hired on October 8. However, less than two weeks later, on October 20, Williams was fetching logs off a pontoon at Parika Backdam when they fell on his left leg, which was fractured in two places as a result. Since then, Williams has been unable to work.

Savitree Williams

According to Savitree, the employer promised he would be assisting them until Williams recovered from injuries he sustained while on the job. She said everything went well for the family for the three weeks after the accident, during which time the employer supported them with $10,000 per week.

Efforts by this newspaper to contact the employer for a comment were unsuccessful.

According to Savitree, she went to the employer and asked him for $5,000 to pay a taxi to take her husband home after he was treated at the hospital recently but the man started to abuse her.

“He started to cuss we, saying that he ain’t gon’ able with this cause he done giving we money every week and now he gah pay taxi,” she said.

“I told him that is he wuk me husband get accident from and he gah mind he and he seh how he gone tek out the $5,000 from the weekly money he does give we,” she added.

Savitree said that when her husband arrived home from the hospital, the employer gave him half of the weekly allowance and told him that “me nah gone able with this.”

Devanand Williams

She added that the man then began to abuse her and the next day she was advised to go to the Amerindian Affairs Ministry to make a complaint since her husband is Amerindian. She did so on Monday and also paid a visit to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, where she was advised to apply for public assistance.

When she went to the Amerindian Affairs Ministry, officials there called the employer to investigate the situation and when Savitree returned home, she said the employer began to abuse her again. While cursing the family, the woman said the employer started to put their belongings outside of the house and told them to leave his premises.

As a result, Savitree said she, her husband and two children slept on the road because they had nowhere else to go. “My husband spread a sheet on the road and we lie down,” she recalled.

Since then, they spent one night at the Amerindian hostel and another at a cousin. However, neither Savitree nor her husband has any close relatives they can stay with and they are currently looking for somewhere to live. When asked if she is looking for a job, Savitree replied, “yes, but because me nah get nowhere to stay, a finding it hard to get one….” She added, “Me gah look for one wuk to mind me husband now ’cause he was there for me.”

Persons who are willing to offer assistance to the family can do so by calling Savitree on telephone number 689-5182.


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