NATION

More Help For Mum, Son

A visually-impaired Nadi mother and her autistic son living in Tunalia, Nadi, are thankful to a good Samaritan for helping them with their daily struggles. Mati and her son Ram
14 Jan 2019 12:24
More Help For Mum, Son
Ms Mati and son Ram Deo with Panapasa Vuetaki at their home in Nadi. Photo: Supplied

A visually-impaired Nadi mother and her autistic son living in Tunalia, Nadi, are thankful to a good Samaritan for helping them with their daily struggles.

Mati and her son Ram Deo, lived in inhumane conditions until Panapasa Vuetaki revealed their struggles on social media earlier in the month.

Mr Vuetaki offered Mr Deo a lift home and found out about the family’s circumstances when they reached Tunalia.

It led to an outpouring of offers of support for the mother and son locally and from abroad.

“I’m happy”, said Ms Mati yesterday. “Pana (Panapasa) has given us hope, a new look on life, for which I’m forever indebted.”

She said she had never ever thought help would come in the way it has.

“I was convinced that living this life was normal,” Ms Mati said.

“Pana hamlog ke wastin bhaut kare (Pana is doing a lot for us).”

Mr Vuetaki said Ms. Mati and her son lived in absolute poverty and that prompted him to reach out.

“I did it out of a good heart and expect nothing in return. I’m just helping Fijians who are my family,” he said.

Mr Vuetaki said after the Ms. Mati and Ram Deo video went viral, Fijians from around the globe and locals called him to offer monetary help and support.

“Sympathy and empathy took the better of Fijians all over the world after watching the video,” he said.

“I was inundated with the reach-out messages.”

Mr Vuetaki said people from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have pitched in with their contributions.

“It was the sadness of the situation that got the better of the people and I would not be doing them justice if I had said I’m doing it all by myself,” he said. “It’s their financial help that have me, my family and friends work endlessly on providing the necessities for the family. I have my family and friends help me with the logistics and other volunteers have also reached out. Last Saturday, with our volunteers, we raised the water tank, filled it to the brim and had the solar lights going.

“Aunty, that’s it for the kerosene lamp”, he told Ms. Mati, who seemed ecstatic and surprised on Facebook livestream.

Mr Vuetaki has placed an order for new beds and is awaiting delivery in the next few days. He says he is working on convincing Ms. Mati on the benefits of having a gas stove, which she is not a huge fan of.
She had similar views about the solar lights, but agreed after some discussions.

“Piping for the shower, sink and the construction of the washroom will start next weekend.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

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