Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2014 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 6, 2014
The Church of the Nativity
at Crystal Stream in Diego
Martin was packed yesterday
as scores of mourners paid
their respects to Arthur Rus-
Rooks, 51, of Helm Drive,
Westmoorings, was the son-
in-law of Tourism Minister
Gerald Hadeed. Rooks was
married to Hadeed s daughter
Gillian and was the father of
Rooks, who relatives said was
self-employed and worked
closely with the Living Water
Community, died in a car acci-
dent on August 28.
Police from the Caroni sta-
tion on patrol that morning
saw his Toyota Yaris, which had
crashed into the concrete bar-
riers at the Uriah Butler High-
way, near the Caroni Bridge.
Police believe he was heading
south along the highway when
a tyre blew as he approached
Rooks was badly injured and
was taken to the Eric Williams
Medical Sciences Complex in
Mount Hope but was pro-
nounced dead on arrival.
Mourners cried as they
described Rooks as a great
human being and dedicated
father. One mourner said Rooks
was "perfect in every way,"
adding that he was the best
father, husband and friend any-
one could ask for.
Another mourner, who
described Rooks as a sports
enthusiast, said he had recently
returned to T&T after a brief
vacation in Aruba.
A A A
An ailing Gasparillo couple is appealing
to their MP, Works Minister, Suruj Ram-
bachan, to help them rebuild their dilapidated
Jankey Ramlal, 52, and her common-law
husband, Khemraj Panchoo, 51, are both in
poor health and as a result neither of them
can work. The T&T Guardian visited their
home on Friday after a concerned neighbour
alerted the South office to the couple s plight.
Ramlal suffers from lupus and a heart con-
dition and Panchoo is on the waiting list at
the San Fernando General Hospital for surgery
to insert a catheter after having surgery for a
kidney stone a few months ago.
The couple have no children together but
Ramlal has five children from a previous rela-
tionship. But she and her children are estranged.
"I left their father and he keep all of them
and now they don t ever come to look for me,"
They have been renting the land they live
on for the past 12 years and in that time, Ramlal
said they have had to rebuild their home twice
because of constant landslides.
"Two times he work and save up and we fix
back the house, but now he can t work, so we
asking for a little help."
Ramlal said even though she gets a disability
grant, most of the $1,500 goes to buy medicine
for herself and her husband and pay taxi fares
to and from the hospital, so she cannot afford
"I went clinic this morning and they say
they don t have the medication, so I have to
buy it," she said. "And when I don t get it the
lupus does real act up."
Their wooden two-room house is so dilap-
idated that Panchoo used concrete blocks to
prop it up to prevent it from collapsing. The
floor has so many holes that Ramlal has plotted
a narrow path that they use in order to avoid
the rotted boards that might collapse under
Ramlal washes her dishes on a makeshift
stand at the side of the house and the couple
have no electricity or running water, as she
says they would need to install numerous elec-
tricity poles to get a supply.
She says even though Rambachan oversaw
the construction of two retaining walls in recent
months, the land keeps slipping.
"The walls help plenty, but where we is, the
land keeping moving. When rain fall is the
worst, all the mud does wash down the hill,
and we can t pass to come out."
Ramlal said after a visit to their MP s office,
staff visited them.
"Some of them come here and take pictures,
but nobody telling we anything again. We just
want a little help before the house fall down
in the middle of the night on top of us," said
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Ailing couple appeals for help
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When the T&T Guardian contacted
Rambachan for comment, he said while he
is aware of the housing problem, he did
not know of the health problems faced by
"Ms Ramlal came to my office on June
17 after which we sent out a team to
assess the damage," said Rambachan.
"However, she did not tell us about her
health problems, if we had known we
would have tried to help."
Rambachan sought to assure the couple
that work would begin soon on their home.
"We will be constructing a starter home
for them," Rambachan revealed. "Work will
begin in the next two weeks."
He said the delay was due to the
process needed to complete the request.
"There is a process to be done, we have
to assess, get an estimate and then do the
tendering," said Rambachan. "It may have
felt like it was a long time ago, but we told
Ms Ramlal the process would take 60 to
90 days to complete."
He also pledged to try to assist the
couple in getting electricity, once their new
home is completed.
"We have helped a lot of residents in the
constituency to get water and lights in
their homes, we will try our best to assist
Ms Ramlal with this, we will have to
contact T&TEC as well."
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r PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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