Feb 22, 2009 News
By Yannason Duncan
Their innocent smiles and their identical resemblances would certainly warm any hearts but, disguised by their pretty smiles, life for triplets Rada, Rosaria and Reenica continue to be a struggle.
Their mother, Devika Persaud, said that the job of single-handedly having to take care of three young daughters is never an easy task. Speaking in a naturally coarse voice, she continued, “I never once conceived the idea of ever becoming a security officer; however the choice that I have now made is with the foremost intention of seeing my girls attain the education I was deprived of.”
I met Devika for the very first time a week ago while attending court. She was very friendly, and immediately she felt comfortable with me. Not too long after she proceeded to share her story with me.
Of all the things she has said to me, the one that has stuck with me ever since was learning that she had borne triplets. Immediately I got excited and waited eagerly for her to tell me something more about her three young daughters.
According to Miss Persaud, her frustration began one year after she had given birth to triplets in Georgetown. The year was 1994.
Her marriage to her partner was terminated, and ever since she has shouldered the responsibility of taking care of her babies – a huge task which she cannot help but still feels overwhelmed by.
She said that ever since her girls were babies, and even at present, her efforts to solicit some form of financial assistance from the government has always proved unsuccessful.
“Just last week, I went to the probation office in Region Two, and was told by two officers that the public assistance that had been allotted to the girls since 2007 has since been terminated.”
Devika said that she then went to the city. While in the city her main aim was to meet with the Minister Priya Mannickchand. This was her third attempt, and as before she was unsuccessful. She said that she was rudely talked to by the Minister’s secretary and a senior male officer.
She said, ‘All I need is a little assistance which will go a long way.”
At present the girls are doing well in school and are attending extra lessons. She said that it is extremely difficult to remain committed to her obligation.
When asked whether the father is shouldering any responsibility for his children, Devika said his financial contribution towards the maintenance of his children is very minimal. He maintains his children through the courts and, because it is not substantial, she usually takes it upon herself to uplift the monies every six months in Georgetown.
I was still conversing with Devika when the identical triplets Rada, Rajshri and Reenica arrived home from school. They are now teenagers. One after the other each girl shared with me her career goals. They all sounded alike.
Rada, the eldest of the girls, said that she is aspiring to become a primary school teacher, while Rajshri intends to become a paediatrician and Reenica a journalist. Each girl is encouraging other teenagers to stay in school and stay away from drugs.
Devika noted that when the girls were babies performing the daily chores of bathing, clothing and even feeding all three were a tremendous burden. But now that girls are teenagers, each one of them is tasked with various household duties and they do not shirk.
Rada, the eldest, likes to cook, while Reenica, the youngest, would spend her time engrossed in her school books. Rajshri, however, does not like housework, but she however is friendly.
Mrs. Persaud noted that neither she nor the doctor who delivered her was aware that she would have given birth to triplets. She said even the ultrasound failed to detect the number of babies she would have later delivered.
She said that Dr Neville Gobin, who operated on her, first thought that she was giving birth to twins. Devika said that after she had undergone a Caesarean section there was surprise. The nurses who were on duty were not prepared for this. The other baby was lodged somewhere toward the back.
Devika said that everyone was clearly happy, especially Dr Gobin, who for the first time in his practice as a doctor would have delivered triplets.
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