Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 2nd 2015 Contents B9
Thursday, April 2, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Approximately six years
ago, an elderly man told me
that he accompanied his son
to an attorney s office to sign
"some papers" so that when
he dies, his son will become
the sole owner of his house.
This man could not read or
In total reliance on the trust
of his son and the familiarity
of the chosen attorney whom
his son called his friend, this
man affixed his thumbprint
on a document.
Four weeks after, he was
served a letter by said attor-
ney-at-law and the contents
were read to him by a relative.
The letter stated that he ought
to vacate his home, as the
property belonged to this son.
The document he signed was
not a will. It was a deed that
transferred legal title to the
son. The tears of this man left
my heart feeling very heavy
It is good practice to obtain
the expressed instructions of
clients as to the terms of legal
services to be provided. The
client will read the instruction
sheet prepared by the attorney
and affix their signature agree-
ing to its contents and the
attorney will act accordingly.
In some cases, the document
will be read to the client and
the thumbprint of the client
will be placed due to their dif-
ficulties to read and write their
signatures. Every time
the latter situation
occurs, I feel deeply
I related my senti-
ments to my mother,
Dr Parvathy Kadir,
who told me about
Alta and that her col-
league was training to
be a tutor. At the time,
I was under the
employ of another
attorney and it was
not prudent with
time constraints to
commit to become a
tutor. Now I am in
private practice and
can adjust my sched-
ule to make this com-
When I was
informed that there
would be an obser-
vation period prior to the actual training sessions, I
was grateful, as I questioned my ability to become
a tutor given the adversarial and somewhat aggressive
nature of my profession, as opposed to the nurturing
qualities of a tutor.
I considered it a personal challenge as it relates to
self-development, with the eventual desired outcome
to help others serving my motivation to proceed on
this endeavour. The students genuine eagerness to
learn to read and write awakened a natural ability in
me to be a tutor, erasing all doubts I had as it relates
to my ability to possess the necessary qualities of a
tutor. I walked away feeling fulfilled after each ses-
It remains a fact that caring teachers took time and
patience to help us be where we are today. We can
in turn help people and make a positive difference.
Hinduism teaches "Manava Seva Madhava Seva"
which means "Service to humanity is service to God."
Regardless of the religion one may belong to, the
essence of this message remains.
I anticipate my future as a volunteer tutor with
Alta and encourage others to make a difference.
New Jersey s Kean University has cancelled
hip-hop artiste Common as commencement
speaker after police voiced concerns over a
song about a convicted cop killer who fled to
The school announced the Academy Award
winner s selection on Monday, but said Tuesday
night he would not be
Susan Kayne tells The
Record newspaper the
made prematurely and
the school is pursuing
other speaker options.
Common won the
Academy Award for
composing the song
Glory for the 2014 film
State Police union president Chris Burgos
called the choice a "slap in the face" because
lyrics in Common s 2000 recording A Song
for Assata portrays Joanne Chesimard as a vic-
tim. Chesimard was convicted in 1977 of killing
a New Jersey state trooper.
She remains in Cuba after she escaped from
Hip hop star Common
Make a difference through service to others
Literacy and the decision to
become an Alta volunteer
sometimes hits closest to home
when someone has a personal
encounter with a non-reader.
This week, attorney SAJINA
KADIR describes how literacy
impacts the non-literate seeking
legal protection, and her desire to
make a difference.
Kadir attended the Level 2 class
at Chaguanas South Secondary
venue for eight sessions as an
observer and will begin the six-
day tutor training course for new
volunteers this April/May.
Become a part of Alta.
Volunteer, donate, spread
the word. Alta volunteers
are unpaid. Call 624-ALTA
(2582) or e-mail
find us on Facebook: Alta
New Jersey school cancels
Common as speaker
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