Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2014 Contents B5
February 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
He has spent his life fishing in the
waters of the Columbus Channel and
now, at the age of 86, Khadir Baksh
is facing a life of darkness.
Baksh, a distant relative of former
Works minister Sadiq Baksh, is fast
losing his vision because of cataract.
He lives in a shack at the Gran Chemin
beach in Moruga, and he is recognised
as the oldest fisherman there.
However, although he is well
respected by the people in the area,
Baksh has never known the comforts
of modern living.
His shack has no running water or
electricity. The only appliance is an
old stove, given to Baksh by his
daughter Brenda, who lives in the
United States. When night falls, Baksh
sleeps on a piece of hard wood, cov-
ered by a thin sponge.
He has grown accustomed to the
sound of the waves and intermittent
rain, which gushes through the gaping
holes in his roof. He has no toilet.
Whenever he wants to defecate, Baksh
hobbles down the beach with his
walking stick to find a quiet spot. He
then washes off in the sea.
Despite his battle with arthritis,
Baksh remains content.
"I don t think I want to move from
here. I good right here. I have seen
many fishermen grow up on the beach
and when they leave, they die. I want
to live a little bit longer, so is here I
am staying," Baksh said, giving a
Slouched on a chair, Baksh said he
was born in 1927 at California, Couva.
As a young child, he migrated to
Cedros and began working on the
"Fishing back then was nice. Fish-
ermen used to get ten cent per pound
of fish. Now they getting big money,"
Baksh said. Years later, he journeyed
to Gran Chemin and settled down.
He purchased his shack for $2,000
and devoted his life to the sea.
"I remember the times when we
would pull up 3,000 pounds of fish.
It had no trawlers or seismic surveys
then. We could afford to fish then,"
he said. Baksh trained many young
people in the art of fishing. He also
taught them how to mend boats and
Because he never got married,
Baksh continues to depend on his
neighbours to take care of him.
Facing a life of darkness
"I stopped fishing about six years
ago. It just became too hard for me to
go on the sea. The fishermen from
Moruga bring back fish for me," Baksh
said, pointing to a pot, filled with fish
He also showed off gallons of water
which he uses to drink.
"When I want to wash my clothes,
I go to the stand pipe but most times
the young boys will bring back bottles
of water for me," Baksh said. He
explained that nobody, including the
former minister, ever offered him help.
"I don t think anybody will come
and build a toilet for me. I never wanted
to move. The fresh air here is what is
keeping me alive," Baksh said. He
revealed, however, that within recent
times his eyesight has been failing
because of cataract.
"If they could do something to save
my sight, I will be happy. This is all I
need," Baksh said. He said he has never
gone to his family for help. He has never
seen his only grandson, whose name
he doesn t know.
Sadiq willing to assist
When former minister Sadiq Baksh
was contacted, he admitted he was a
distant relative to Baksh.
He said he was willing to help the
fisherman if he wanted assistance.
'Pensioners suffering when
health centre closes'
Robert Boodram, a resident of Moru-
ga, called on Health Minister Dr Fuad
Khan to make the Moruga Health Cen-
tre open on a 24-7 basis. Boodram said
too many pensioners were suffering.
He said the centre did not have an
ambulance driver, and anyone who falls
ill on weekends or after working hours
had difficulty getting to the Princes
Town Hospital. Efforts to contact Khan
were unsuccessful as calls to his cell-
phone went answered.
Moruga's oldest fisherman
faces life of darkness...
Save my sight
Khadir Baksh, a relative of former minister Sadiq
Baksh, sits inside his fishing shack at Gran
Chemin beach, Moruga. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
"I don't think I want
to move from here. I
good right here. I
have seen many
fishermen grow up
on the beach and
when they leave,
they die. I want to
live a little bit longer,
staying," Baksh said,
giving a toothy grin.
"I remember the times when we would pull up
3,000 pounds of fish. It had no trawlers or
seismic surveys then. We could afford to fish
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