After gruesome murders, Human Services Minister calls for more community support


Two elderly women, Agatha Gamell and Sumintra Sawh, were gruesomely murdered over the past few days and Minister of Human Services and Social Security Dr. Vindhya Persaud says that much more community support is needed to protect vulnerable older folks.

“… the gruesome way in which people in the elder community keep losing their life speaks to other issues related to that.

“It may be cases of drug abuse, cases of persons who want to commit serious crimes like robbery and there are other things that trigger that,” Dr. Persaud told the News Room on Tuesday.

With these challenges, however, the minister believes that greater community support is needed to protect vulnerable, older folks. This support is particularly necessary since the Human Services Ministry and other response agencies like the Guyana Police Force would not be aware of every case, she reasoned.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud


“We have to be conscious that a lot of elderly persons live on their own; they need support and may not know how to access services.

“Community support is needed,” she emphasised.

And one of the ways members of the community can register their support is by using the 914 hotline for reporting instances of violence and abuse. Once reports are made, the Minister said that the Ministry and various agencies will be tasked with responding immediately.

Further, once reports are made, she believes that “condign action” against perpetrators can be taken.


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