It is with dismay that we read in the Stabroek News of 12/1/2017, the letter written by Nowrang Persaud headlined `Berbice needs a `Palms’’and his disparaging remarks about the Dharm Shala Berbice. It is a subsidiary of the Georgetown Dharm Shala. Over the last 2 years more than 25 million dollars have been expended on this Dharm Shala which incidentally will be a heritage site. All funds spent have been diligently saved by my late father over the last 10 decades for the Dharm Shala. We note Nowrang Persaud’s statement that the existence of the Dharm Shala “is due to the countless other benevolent persons who have been making contributions” etc.
The Berbice Dharm Shala receives very small donations from Berbice residents if any and very intermittently. All that it receives from persons is an occasional meal. All expenses for Berbice are borne by Georgetown Dharm Shala and Management.
The Berbice Dharm Shala presently houses approximately 30 residents who have openly stated that they love residing there and that they will never remove. Every building (5 buildings in total) to ensure the comfort of the residents have always been attended to and over the last few years i.e. the kitchen, the wards, dining room, building housing an Anglican Chapel and Hindu Temple, walkway and driveway from the entry gate. The Dharm Shala is a gated area – a beautiful new fence has been erected. The caretaker’s residence has been repainted. All these improvements have been continuous. The land has been crowned by the Sea Defence Commission. In case Nowrang Persaud is not aware, mangrove trees have been planted countrywide as a sea-defence.
There are no trees overhanging the land. The Dharm Shala Berbice has a very pleasant and welcoming appearance.
The ground floor where Persaud bemoans the plight of the elderly is a temporary fix for those unable and unwilling to climb one flight of stairs. However those occupying the ground floor are checked daily by our in house helpers ensuring no person suffers discomfort. Again Persaud complains of residents being affected by floodwater. Again, Persaud may not have noticed that the country suffered heavy rainfall and flooding recently which affected everyone.
En passant Nowrang Persaud visited the Dharm Shala Head Office at 140 King Edward Street, Albouystown on the 6 January 2017 following a request by him to visit and make suggestions for improvements at the Dharm Shala. His only suggestion was that the Dharm Shala should be re-sited.
This was dismissed by Management as being ludicrous as the Dharm Shala was functioning very well. A “No” was the reply given by both the Managing-Head (Kella Ramsaroop) and Pamela Ramsaroop (Executive Member of the Governing Body of the Dharm Shala and Vice- Chairman). Persaud informed both persons that he was not going to take “No” for an answer. After some more conversation by Persaud it was confirmed that he was interested in the land of the Dharm Shala- he suggested his land at Palmyra-Canefield. We remembered that we were approached some years ago in a similar fashion by others.
Also we were informed that Persaud with a party of others visited and inspected the land some days prior.
Currently, extra toilets are being installed on the bottom flat of the Dharm Shala by a Guyanese resident in Canada who has suddenly appeared out of the wood-works, P Dhandhari. Dharm Shala Management had always intended to install toilets but accepted the offer as it would save expense for the Dharm Shala. Three contractors as well as visitors can testify as to the work done at the Dharm Shala over the years and improvements.
Photographs and the testimony of residents can testify as to the usefulness and importance of the Dharm Shala over its 79 years of existence (currently).
We are prepared to take this matter further if Nowrang Persaud persist with his untruths.
Kella Ramsaroop (Managing – Head Dharm Shala)
Pamela Ramsaroop (Executive Member of the Governing Body of the Dharm Shala and Vice–Chairman)