Couva family struggling on $2,000 a month: We need food

HELP US PLEASE: Devica Ramoutar and her five daughters at their Dow Village, California home. - Lincoln Holder
HELP US PLEASE: Devica Ramoutar and her five daughters at their Dow Village, California home. - Lincoln Holder

SINCE her husband lost his job during the pandemic, life has become difficult for a California mother with five young daughters. She says they are even struggling to eat every day.Their sole income is a monthly disability grant of $2,000.

Devica Ramoutar, 40, of Dow Village, is making a plea on behalf of her family. Her children range in age from 11 to three.

“I never meant to reach this stage, but things have gotten worse for us and now I am really at a point of desperation. I know things are very hard for everyone at this time, but all I am asking for is some food items that will help me provide meals for my children.”

Seven months ago her husband Leon Mukesh, 42, who was a joiner with a woodworking company, was laid off when the business closed down.

“My husband is not a lazy man. Since he lost his job, he leaves every day to go job hunting. He looks for places to clean or do odd jobs to get a day's work to bring home money," Ramoutar said. "Most days he comes home empty-handed."

Devica Ramoutar speaks with Newsday at her home at Dow Village, California. - Lincoln Holder

Ramoutar lost the use of her left hand when she had a stroke, which is why she receives the disability grant.

“We have rent to pay, groceries to buy, school supplies, clothes, and other basic needs which we are unable to meet. When I tell you it is hard. Trust me, it is really hard for us.”

Ramoutar said her parents are dead. Her sister helps when she can.

“My sister is also going through her struggles. She also has a family of her own.

- Lincoln Holder

"She lent us her cell phone for my children to be able to attend online classes. They share this phone to do their online class.”

The clothes she and her children wear, she said, were also donated.

Ramoutar said they were renting an apartment in Chaguanas but moved because of an infestation of rodents.

“Thankfully, a generous landlord took us in and reduced the rent which has been a blessing.

“All we have been able to get in the house is a fridge, a stove, and mattresses for us to sleep on.”

A tearful Ramoutar said it gets harder every day to see the sadness in her children's eyes.

“I wish my husband could find a permanent work so our situation would be different.

- Lincoln Holder

"Today I am begging anyone who can donate food items or toys to us – it does not even have to be new toys, or expensive ones. I will be grateful for anything you can give us. I just want my kids to have meals, and on Christmas Day be able to feel the joy of opening a gift."

MP for the area Rudranath Indarsingh said he had not been aware of Ramoutar's situation, but will arrange to visit the family, do an assessment and see how he and his team can help.

"It is unfortunate she did not seek to engage me before," he said.

"My office is always open to hear the concerns of my constituents and work towards helping them."

Anyone who would like to help the family can call Ramoutar at 345-9348.


"Couva family struggling on $2,000 a month: We need food"

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