Brandon Ramkissoon’s dilapidated house at Mc Clean Trace, Las Lomas. (Image by SHASTRI BOODAN)
SHASTRI BOODAN

Visually impaired Brandon Ramkissoon, 24, is appealing for assistance to complete repairs to his humble home at Mc Clean Trace, Las Lomas.

On Wednesday, Guardian Media visited Ramkissoon who was at the time practicing his DJ skills on his laptop computer.

Ramkissoon said he has lived alone since his father died last year and does not earn an income. He gets a small disability grant from the Government that is barely enough to pay the utility bills and purchase food.

Ramkissoon said he went to the school for the blind and many of his classmates went on to be disc jockeys. However, his luck was not the same. He applied to two local Indian radio stations and his application was never acknowledged.

“Apparently they feel a visually impaired person can’t work at a radio station,” he said.

Brandon Ramkissoon using his DJ equipment. (Image by SHASTRI BOODAN)

To compound his woes, the house in which he is living is infested by termites, his toilet and kitchen are dilapidated, and the structure is falling apart. He was given assistance from his Member of Parliament, Foster Cummings (La Horquetta/Talparo), who put things in place for Ramkissoon to get a grant from the National Commission for Self Help Limited.  However, he is having some trouble getting the materials from the hardware since it is located in Sangre Grande.

Ramkissoon said he may have to get transport to go to Sangre Grande for the building materials.

“I don’t know why they sent us Grande and they have two hardware stores in Cunupia that take Self Help,” he said.

The young man said he was born with cataracts and underwent an operation at the San Fernando General Hospital when he was a child. However, the procedure became botched and he lost all his sight.

“They said too much sun damaged the lens and I got blind,” he told Guardian Media.

Brandon Ramkissoon at his home at Mc Clean Trace, Las Lomas. (Image by SHASTRI BOODAN)

Brandon Ramkissoon’s father died at the age of 76.  He was a pensioner who helped around the house and earned a living as the village handyman but after his death, life became difficult for Brandon. His small business selling grocery items also crashed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramkissoon said it is also difficult for him to do simple chores.

“I wish I could get somebody to assist me with cooking. I does try on my own and it tough,” he said.  “I fried a sausage this morning and it burned, and I get burned, and I don’t like to get burn.” 

Ramkissoon said he has also raised some monies on Go Fund Me but is short about $11,000 to purchase electrical, plumbing, and other materials.  

When contacted, Minister Cummings said he was also trying to get other state agencies to assist Ramkissoon.