Homeless pensioner, daughter with disability seek urgent help
Seventy-year-old Ramnarine Harriram, known as ‘Larry’ and his daughter, Sahodra, who has a disability, had to vacate the house they were staying at Eccles, East Bank Demerara and are now living in a storage room.
On Thursday, Harriram told the News Room he had to work odd jobs for the last 12 years in order to survive and take care of his 43-year-old daughter. He is the sole caregiver for the woman who has a condition that restricts her physical, mental and social functions. He was left on his own with his daughter after most of his close relatives died.
With nowhere to go, he resorted to squatting on an abandoned lot at Eccles but he eventually had to vacate the lot and with the permission of the owner, he and his daughter moved into a house, also at Eccles, some three weeks ago.
But then the owner of the house gave him a two weeks’ notice to leave. He could not afford to rent anywhere, and on Wednesday, the owner, accompanied by the Police, removed them from the house.
“I live in a 10×10, a chair and a bed and couple boxes with some clothes for seven years and the place was leaking; anyway the people sell the place and they throw me out,” Harriram said.
He was forced to leave on Wednesday.
“I didn’t argue because I frighten the man might throw out everything. I put my daughter on a chair in the yard and start fetching out my things,” the elderly man said.
Now homeless, the 70-year-old pensioner was also detained by the Police but was released a few hours later. During this time, his daughter was left on the roadside sitting.
Residents living in the community assisted the family of two with getting a place to sleep. Another resident donated a bedframe so they wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground. The temporary home is a section of a house that was used for storage. It is covered in mold.
Harriram said he never sought assistance until now because he didn’t know where to go.
“She [Sahodra] can’t do anything for herself at all. I have to bathe her, feed her, she can’t eat on her own.
‘I ain’t got nowhere and she mother passed away and from then, my mother looking after her and then she passed away about five years now and since then, I minding her by myself,” Harriram said.
Harriram gets his monthly pension in addition to the $14,000 monthly stipend from the government for his daughter. And this is the money he uses to help maintain them.
A resident, Bibi Rajak vouched that Harriram is a good person but that his situation is unfortunate. She said residents try to help him when they can.
“He can stay here [in the storage area] until we could get help for him to get her into an institution and Larry doesn’t have anywhere to stay.”
Persons who wish to assist Harriram can contact Rajak on telephone number 615-6802.