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Suruj: Covid19 exposes poverty in Trinidad and Tobago

Covid 19 has exposed the truth about poverty in our country. For years we have been arguing along the lines of statistics as to how many persons /families are poor. I have argued in Parliament and was chastised by the government for saying that about two thirds of our population earn less than 6000 per month. The pandemic is revealing the true extent of poverty. When you see the conditions under which children are living and when you now see that people are being evicted for failure to pay rents you realize the bitter truth about poverty.

When you come to realize that without the school Feeding program thousands of children will go hungry every day you Then Realize the bitter truth of what teachers have been telling us for a long time.

When you realize that on line teaching will leave out a significant portion of the school population you realize that the computer program for school Children was also meant to deal with inequality and provide equal opportunity.

When you realize that our PP government had created a Ministry of the People and a vibrant well resourced National self Help Commission and when you examine how many homes were improved by self help grants you realize how many more persons would have been Living under dilapidated conditions

When you realize that the URP program under the PP was constructing cheap but liveable houses you realize how poor people are.

The Covid 19 has shown us that up to 300,000 persons are living day by day week by week. And yet they survive they have a smile on their faces. Do you know what it probably means for a person to come and ask for a hamper. Do you realize that their human dignity is affected.

This country might be described as wealthy but the poverty is real and the suffering is hard.

After Covid what are we going to do to deal with poverty. If you can’t help alleviate poverty as a government your governance is sadly lacking. Poverty and social disasters go hand in hand. Thank God that Trinidadians are charitable. In fact very charitable.

In Hinduism the worst sin is described as poverty.

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