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Touched By ‘Our’ Story

Touched By ‘Our’ Story
Gordon Simms
July 25
09:37 2015

An Australian businessman, who was on vacation in Fiji recently, has called for more media coverage on sick and needy persons.

Gordon Simms, a father of three and owner of a pest control business in Sydney, made the remark after he was inspired to help Jitendra Prasad, a special needs person living in Labasa.

He read Mr Prasad’s story (Telecom Lends Disabled Prasad A Helping Hand) in the Fiji Sun while holidaying with his family at the Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa at Korolevu.

“I was on holiday with my youngest son Cameron and my partner Frances,” Mr Simms said.

“We stayed a week at the Westin Denarau and then for a week at the Warwick. While at the Warwick, I was reading the Fiji Sun and came across the story about Jiten.

“I was touched by his story and just felt the need to help in some way,” he said.

“ I think you should run more stories like this as there may be other visitors to the islands who feel the same as we did and they may also offer to help another less fortunate person.”

Mr Simms, upon return to Australia, had sent some clothes and a jogger for Mr Prasad. It was sent through a friend in Labasa.

“I’m happy that he received the gift and when I saw the smile on his face, it made my day. It won’t be the last time that I send over a parcel for Jiten.”

Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL), meanwhile, has been assisting Mr Prasad who has been fending for himself for the past 19 years.

He lives alone in a one-bedroom house at Urata Settlement in Bulileka, Labasa, with no electricity supply, a borehole as a source of water, and sometimes he begs or seeks assistance from neighbours and friends.

He was emotional and thankful for the assistance from Mr Simms, especially with the cold season currently experienced in Fiji.

Mr Simms, meanwhile, was born and raised in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and is a father of three children.

“I run my own pest control business servicing commercial and residential properties all over Sydney.  I have been doing this for the last 30 years and my eldest son now works for me.”

“I have travelled to Fiji three times over the last 10 years and have always found the people to be welcoming and very helpful.  At all the resorts we have stayed at, the service has been outstanding.”

 

Background

Mr Prasad’s knee joints are weak and at times he would crawl around to attend to things or chores. He is a former student of the Labasa School for the Handicapped and is also a social welfare recipient.

“My father died after I was born and my mother brought me here when I was young. She died 10 years ago,” he said.

“I have an elder brother who lives in Suva, who supports me at times and an elder sister who is married and lives in Labasa as well. I cook my own meal using my small gas stove. A taxi driver, who is my friend, normally helps me with the supply of my groceries and transporting me to town.

“I use a pit toilet and a borehole to source water from for cleaning and drinking.”

He only begs when he runs out of food supply or when there is no one available to support him, he says.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

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