ON October 27 – Divali Day – the home of Sangre Grande pensioner Kishore Seebaran, 73, was destroyed by fire. The house, at Providence Street, Ojoe Road, caught fire after the family left home to look at the lighted deyas in their village.
Today, six weeks later, Seebaran’s family is still seeking help from the authorities, after several visits to the Social Welfare office in Sangre Grande.
Seebaran, a former labourer with the Agriculture Ministry, is unable to work owing to illness. His daughter Indira Seebaransingh said the family is now renting an apartment, since they have nowhere to go.
“We lost everything in this fire, including our car, in a flash.”
The house which was valued at $250,000 had recently been renovated.
Seebaransingh, a schoolteacher, is sharing a small apartment with her father and four siblings.
“I went to social welfare office and filled out all the forms and was told the family is entitled to a grant for purchasing clothes and another for rent payments. But we have gotten nothing after making this report,” Seebaransingh said.
She called the Social Development Ministry to complain about the local office.
"Soon after I complained to head office, officers from Sangre Grande visited the burnt house and took reports," Seebaransingh said.
She also visited the office of Toco/Sangre Grande MP Glenda Jennings-Smith, but Jennings –Smith was out campaigning for the upcoming local government elections.
“The secretary assured us that we will be given a stove to prepare our meals and also the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) workers will assist in cleaning up the site."
Seebaransingh is asking the public for help in rebuilding the house for the sake of her father and her other family members. Her contact number is 729-3771