IT was a bitter-sweet moment for Shania Ramdath as she celebrated her 13th birthday yesterday, on the eve of her mother’s funeral. In a surprise get-together, classmates and teachers went to the home of relatives in Tableland with gifts and words of comfort to the bereaved girl.
“It was a surprise birthday get-together. Some girls from her school came and also teachers. Everything passed good and Shania was happy,” said her paternal grandmother Jean Maharaj.
On Tuesday, Shania’s mother Anita Ramdath, 31, died in a fire which partially gutted the family’s home at Glenroy Settlement in Princes Town. Shania, her four-year-old sister Shanice and their policeman father Shane, 31, escaped from the burning house through a window.
Shania, a pupil of the Princes Town ASJA Primary School, wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment exam on May 3. She is hoping to pass for her first choice St Joseph Convent in San Fernando.
The funeral takes places today at the home of Shane’s relatives at George Village in Tableland from 11.30 am. Anita’s body is expected to be taken to her home-community of Woodland for burial under Christian rites. An autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre in St James on Wednesday concluded she died from smoke inhalation. Ramdath worked as a clerk at the Princes Town Magistrates’ Court. Shane is a constable assigned to the Fraud Squad.
The day after the tragedy, Ramdath’s younger daughter told relatives that she slept well because her “mummy” who is in heaven hugged her up the whole night. She was in a jolly mood and relatives said she remained so yesterday as well.
Cpl Joel Richardson of the Princes Town police is leading investigations.
Reports are when the fire broke out on the top floor of the three-bedroom concrete house, Shane threw his daughters out a window to save them. He was unable to save his wife and firefighters found his wife’s charred remains when they put the fire out.