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Government Help ‘Worth the Wait’

Government Help ‘Worth the Wait’
Bhag Wati Nair comforts Watima Bibi at Shirley Park, Lautoka, on May 18, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai
May 19
13:46 2018

More elderly citizens, disabled seek Government’s CARE assistance.

Watima Bibi, 89, of Lautoka braved the hot Western heat to join the thousands of Fijians yesterday at Shirley Park in Lautoka seeking assis­tance from the Government.

She was found sitting among a group of other women, exposed to the heat because she had been there since 7am. Ms Bibi lives alone in Drasa Avenue.

“I just need a little bit of help just to get me through, because I am liv­ing alone and life has been hard af­ter the two cyclones,” Ms Bibi said.

Hundreds of elderly and disabled Fijians were at Shirley Park, who were served at exclusive tents allo­cated for them.

As frail as she was, Ms Bibi was determined in her quest for help despite having a ticket number that read 700. Her friend, Bhag Wati Nair, said they had been waiting patiently for hours, but it was for a good cause, so the wait would be worth it.

Currently, Ms Bibi is receiving $100 from the Social Welfare depart­ment to help her get by since she is unemployed and lives alone.

“This money will be helpful to me because it will enable me to get back on my feet and support myself, because at the moment my step-children hardly come around to see me anymore, so I am pleading with the Government to help me out on this,” Ms Bibi said.

She said it had been more than three years since her step-children visited her.

“But that is ok, I am an independ­ent woman, and just this once I need help,” she said.

But her wait was not in vain as Social Welfare teams took notice of her and escorted her to their booth, much to her delight. She thanked the Government for the help initia­tive.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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