Its been a year of pain for the Boodram orphans having been kicked out of their childhood home while their mother’s funeral was taking place.
Now six months after her death, 11-year-old Ravi Boodram and his sisters Meera, 18, and Raveena, 20, are working tirelessly to build their own home.
Through the scorching heat and the rains, the children are slowly constructing a concrete house with donated materials at Wilson Road, Penal with the help of a carpenter Brandon Peterson and his son Damien Peterson.
Damien attends the Siparia East Secondary School and despite having online classes, he makes time to help his father with a worthy cause.
Ravi attends Suchit Trace Hindu School and is expected to write the Secondary Entrance Assessment exam next year.
Despite his upcoming exam, he wakes up at 6 am every day and begins lining up bricks, fetching water and stacking boxing boards.
Peterson said he first became aware of the children’s plight when a villager put up their story on Facebook in July. Three weeks later, four pallets of bricks were donated by Good Samaritans, along with Readymix, cement, steel and gravel. Peterson says the family still does not have roofing materials or electricals to complete the house.
Within a few days, the construction started.
Saying his heart went out to the children after he read their story, Peterson said he was inspired by their determination and strength to get the job done.
“These are good, honest and hardworking children. They keep working and they don’t even want to leave the job to eat or drink water. They just want to get their house built so they will never be thrown out again,” he said.
He added, “I know what they went through because long ago, I also went through something like that. I didn’t have second pants and it was a long hard struggle. Now I am in a better position to help them and I am trying my best to see that they get their home built.”
Meera who mixed cement and conducted level checks on the bricklaying said the construction keeps her mind away from the gut-wrenching pain of losing her parents.
She said they all had a happy childhood but in 2015 their lives went topsy-turvy when their 48-year-old father Looknath Boodram died from a stroke.
Disputes over the property broke out after her father’s death. In February her mother Seeta Boodram, 38, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and she too died suddenly.
“When my family heard about my mother’s death they told us that we had to go from there. They put us out,” she said.
Grandmother Sheila Baal took them in.
“It was heartbreaking knowing that we grew up with them and we were always around them. For them to do this to us was shocking and heartbreaking,” Meera said.
Despite the odds, they began thinking about constructing their own home. At the time Meera was training as a nurse at a private hospital but when COVID-19 restrictions took effect in March, she was laid off.
That was when someone decided to air their story on Facebook.
Sheila says she was grateful for all the help the children received.
“What happened to them was very sad. I try not to think about it because I feel to cry. While their mother’s funeral was going on, these people were breaking down their house. They were moving out the children’s’ clothes and everything. Nobody wanted them and they get kick all sides,” Sheila said.
After giving them two lots of land at Wilson Road, the three orphans came together to build the house so that they will never be homeless again.
Sheila said she hoped that the children will get the rest of the materials to complete the house.
“I will not be around forever and when I go, I want to know that they have their place,” Sheila added. She said the children’s father worked for years as a labourer with Junior Sammy Contractors. Anyone wanting to assist the orphans can contact them at 389-3089.