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Friday 6 December 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Together we can end child, elderly abuse

THE EDITOR: I refer to the sad story in the November 23 Newsday of a Laventille toddler diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), under the headline “Boy, 5, dies, police suspect beating,” as well as more recent cases of child and elderly abuse.

As a nation of caring and civic-minded citizens, we need to keep the abuse of our children and elderly on the front burner and not wait for other incidents and then call on the relevant authorities to account once again.

We should not allow the recent incidents of this social evil, now on the increase in our society, to become a nine-day wonder.

Children are the bearers of our common future; our elders, at best, the contributors of our past. This is why as concerned citizens we must resolve to mobilise a movement for children and elders, an unstoppable crusade of sorts, to help bring an end to this abuse that has blighted and destroyed the lives of those who are most vulnerable and less privileged than ourselves where love, care and attention are concerned.

As we look at the less fortunate among us, victims of violence and abuse perpetrated not only in senior citizen homes and day-care centres but also in the homes of the poor as well as the affluent, and not limited to any one race or religious background, we see lives scarred by violence, sometimes ending in death.

In the case of our young children, we see futures cut short and potentials unrealised because of physical and verbal abuse.

We citizens, as members of families, communities, religious and civil society organisations of every kind, along with the relevant local and central government agencies, must meet our obligations to our children and the elderly. We must begin to fully recognise our responsibility to ensure that child and elderly rights are respected.

It is very clear that much more needs to be done to protect these rights and meet the needs of our children and elders. The violence and abuse that they suffer must be stopped now. There must be urgent steps by everyone to assure the security and well-being of our elders, children and future generations.

I implore people of all ages from every area of society and every political persuasion to add their voices to those calling for a safer environment for children and elders by writing letters to the newspapers and to your Member of Parliament, your councillor, on social media and also getting the message out by word of mouth.

At the end of the day, each one of us is responsible; collectively, all of us are accountable.

RISHI LAKHAN

via e-mail

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