NATION

Our Mother Walked Out On Us: Wati’s Son

Kumar says nobody chased her out. In fact, they tried to help her One of the eight children of supposedly abandoned Shukla Wati has come forward to tell the “other
05 Oct 2016 11:00
Our Mother Walked Out On Us: Wati’s Son
Shukla Wati’s son, Rakesh Kumar. Photo: Roneel Karthik

Kumar says nobody chased her out. In fact, they tried to help her

One of the eight children of supposedly abandoned Shukla Wati has come forward to tell the “other side of the story”.

Rakesh Kumar, 48, of Naqaliso settlement in Davuilevu Housing, Nakasi, has defended his and his siblings’ treatment of their mother saying ‘in fact, she walked out’.

Mr Kumar was compelled to tell his story after the sad tale of his mother went viral on social media attracting a lot of sympathy towards her and criticism towards them.

By yesterday afternoon, our article titled, My Own Children Abandoned Me: Wati, had attracted 2400 reactions, 254 comments and 948 shares on Facebook.

78-year-old Ms Wati moved into Samabula Senior Citizen’s home over a week ago following help from medical students, Police and the Social Welfare Department.

Born and married in Cuvu, Sigatoka, Ms Wati moved to Suva with her children some 20 years ago.

Her son, Mr Kumar, a security officer of Matrix Fiji, said he and his wife, Usha Kiran, 40, looked after Ms Wati for many years.

“Nobody chased her out. In fact, she walked out,” he said.

“We tried our best to look after her and gave her all she needed.

“I met her on Monday after seeing her story in the Fiji Sun published on Sunday (October 2, 2016), and asked her about it. She said she was asked for an interview and doesn’t know what all was written in the newspaper.

“My mother was bed-ridden for over a year and we (my wife and I) cared for her throughout.

“She had been receiving food vouchers and money from the Social Welfare Department for many years now but when she got better and started walking again, she accused my wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law of stealing her groceries and other items.

“We never stole anything from her. In fact, we never asked her for anything because it was our responsibility to take good care of her.

“She even lodged a Police complaint against us claiming we had stolen her things.

“We never had thought she would do such thing, but we never said anything to her about it because she is my mother.

“In 2014, she also took my wife and her mother and brother to court claiming of theft and had a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) against them.

“After the DVRO, she moved out herself and lived at a relative’s house but she ran away from there.

“She was brought back to my house with Police officers as she didn’t have any place to stay.

“Although my wife had a restraining order to stay away from my mother, she still accepted her and let her stay with us.

“The next day, she packed her clothes and walked out again.

“All of my siblings were there to support her but she didn’t want to stay permanently at one place and kept running away from us.

“My brother, Rajendra Kumar, who is in Auckland, New Zealand, also took her there to take care of her but she refused to stay and he had to rent out an apartment for three months while she was there.

“The Social Welfare Department also built a house for her next to my sister’s in Navua but she didn’t want to stay there either.

“Before she was given a house, she lived at St Vincent De Paul Fiji house in Suva but she also accused of theft on workers there,” Mr Kumar said.

He was upset knowing what his mother claimed, although he and his siblings always supported her.

 

Other responses

The Social Welfare Department confirmed to Fiji Sun that the department had invested around $5000 to build a house for Ms Wati in Navua in 2000.

Also, St Vincent De Paul national president for Fiji and Rotuma, Ben Hazelman confirmed that Ms Wati was a resident of their home before she was given the house, by the Social Welfare Department.

“She had also claimed that she moved out of her children’s home because they were stealing her items,” Mr Hazelman said.

Mr Kumar said he requested his mother to live where she wants to and be happy while she still has the support of her children from Fiji and overseas.

 

Her children:

Amra Wati in Nakasi, Sushila Wati in Valelevu, Premila Wati in Navua, Narendra Kumar in Kalabu, Valelevu, Rajendra Kumar in Auckland, New Zealand, Rakesh Kumar in Davuilevu Housing, Sharmila Wati in Lautoka, Satya Wati in Auckland, New Zealand.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 



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