300 families from central Trinidad receive grants through NCSH
Friday, December 17 2010 @ 03:54 PM AST
Contributed by: NicolaJoseph
The following is the address (verbatim) delivered by Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh at the distribution of purchase order grants through the Commission for Self-Help to flood victims in central Trinidad at the Divali Nagar Site in Chaguanas on Friday December 17, 2010 at 1.30pm.
All Protocols observed.
I want to start by thanking the Chairman of the National Commission for Self Help Limited, Mr. Surujdeo Mangaroo, for securing this beautiful venue.
At a time when the only venues along the East-West corridor, that could accommodate everyone here, were all booked up, Mr. Mangaroo’s seat on the Board of the National Council for Indian Culture, proved to be very helpful. Thank you – please give him a big round of applause.
Today we are giving out Minor Repairs and Reconstruction Grants to 300 families from
- Diego Martin Central/West/North East
- Port of Spain East/South/North-St. Ann’s West
- Laventille East-Morvant/West
- Barataria/San Juan
- St. Ann’s East
- St. Joseph
- St. Augustine
- Lopinot/Bon Air West
- Toco/Sangre Grande
- La Horquetta/Talparo.
Today we will also be giving out 50 food hampers to families in need. Please let us show our appreciation to the members of staff of the NCSH for their commitment, dedication and love.
Over the next few days, we will be distributing some $6.5 million in Minor Repairs Reconstruction Grants to 600 families and food hampers to 250 families respectively.
We are doing this because the health and welfare of the poor and disadvantaged are priorities of this Administration. In Government Policy, Poverty Eradication and Social Justice - preference for the poor and disadvantaged, are represented as the Second of our Seven Interconnected Pillars for Sustainable Development. So what we are doing here today is vitally important, especially so in this season of goodwill.
It is worth noting that the grants and food hampers being distributed today in Chaguanas, next week in Siparia, and the week after in Tobago, are going to destitute families in need from both Opposition and Government constituencies. No matter where you are from, people in need must be treated with empathy. This act is about doing what’s right.
In the past, applicants had to wait for months to access the Minor Repairs and Reconstruction Grant. Since taking office, with the assistance of the Self-Help staff, I have brought this down to a maximum of seven days in instances of natural disasters. Wherever possible, we are doing away with bureaucracy and red tape, so that families can get the help they need with the same speed that they deserve it.
Also, the grant right now stands at $10,000 per family. I am approaching Cabinet to have it raised to $20,000.
Today’s ceremony is about helping people, not only to rebuild their homes but also to rebuild their family lives. After being affected by a fire or natural disaster, families struggle to recover. What was once easy becomes difficult. Sending the children to school, cooking a meal, drinking clean water - can all pose tremendous challenges when the roof over your head is gone; or when your household appliances drift away in floodwaters; or when fire guts your home. Today we share our love with you, as we bring some cheer to you and your families.
We know that a nation is as strong as the weakest member of society. So we need to make sure that the most vulnerable in our society can take the path that leads to the fulfillment of their true potential. That is what your Government aims to accomplish. We want to improve your quality of life on all fronts.
Through the Community Education Programme, we, at the Ministry of Community Development, are empowering people with valuable skills, to gain employment and to create employment.
To support our citizens’ efforts to get ahead, is a top priority for this Administration.
We know that every day across this country, people are working as hard as they can, so that their children may have a brighter future. Through our programmes and projects, we want to do everything possible to provide that future.
I urge community leaders at this time to mobilise people to help each other, especially during this season of giving.
To the senior citizens or pensioners who will benefit from today’s distribution, I want to thank you for fulfilling your responsibilities to your country through your work. The country we live in today is the country you built yesterday. Your Government is very proud of what you have been able to accomplish.
Let today be a reminder to all of us: that the most important job of any Government is to ensure the well-being of its people. That is our solemn obligation, and it is an obligation I intend to fulfill for as long as I am Minister of Community Development.
Once again, thanks to the NCSHL Board and staff. Thanks also to today’s recipients for being here. Thank you all, and I take this opportunity to extend to one and all a very blessed and joyful Christmas and New Year filled with love, happiness and good health.
May God bless us all.
CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry of Community Development