Thursday, March 26, 2015
A 60-YEAR-OLD beggar received the key to her fully-paid house at Lagilagi Housing at Jittu Estate in Suva yesterday.
After many years of begging, Krishna Kumari was excited to be given the key to her home by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Ms Kumari was able to pay for her house with the assistance of the Government and People's Community Network (PCN).
PCN national director Semiti Qalowasa said Ms Kumari was the oldest recipient of the 44 new homeowners.
"When she came in she said 'I want a house'. I said how can you afford it? She said I can afford it," Mr Qalowasa said.
He said Ms Kumari had explained to them that she banked all the money she received from begging.
"When we looked at her bank deposit slip, it goes back to the late 1970s."
He said there was $19,000 in her bank account and they had to take $17,000 to pay for her two-bedroom home while PCN paid for the rest.
"The surprising thing was that if she can save that much, it is sending a good lesson to everyone to save."
Asked how she felt about her new home, she shyly said: "I'm happy."
The Lagilagi Housing has a total of 77 units with the construction of the second phase of 76 units already underway.
Mr Qalowasa said the three-bedroom units cost about $60,000 and $40,000 for a two-bedroom unit.
He said owners should pay half of the cost within 12 years and the remaining amount was subsidised by the Government and PCN collectively.
Interested homeowners, he said, should showcase to PCN that they would pay back and the only way they could gauge was for them to see some sort of saving scheme.
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said the ministry would provide Ms Kumari her basic necessities such as bed to start off with in her new home.
The 1970s: One took to the street and one to the sea - four decades later, one is still on the street and the other turned treasonsit coupist to Prime Minister; one honestly declared she had $19,000 in her bank while the other claimed that he was owed $184,000 in back pay - going back to 1970s - VOTE FOR A BEGGAR OR VOTE FOR A SWINDLER?
Refrain from giving money to beggars - Akbar
Rosy Akbar who is leading the National Taskforce on Beggars along with Fiji Police and the Municipal Councils says during a recent profiling exercise some beggars confessed that they are able to earn quite a lot more on the streets.
She added there are plans in place to look after the welfare of these beggars and they appeal to the public to cooperate with them.
Akbar Stressed they are closely monitoring the streets to ensure that children who are seen begging are taken off the streets and placed into residential care.
She highlights some people have been pushed out of their homes while others are used by their families to get money on the streets.
Akbar further added that the Minor Offences Act 10 of 1971 states that begging is illegal and the Taskforce is concerned about the welfare of the beggars who are sickly, elderly and disabled.
She highlights that some of these beggars are used by their families and they are dropped and picked up at the end of the day.
She added their objective is to make every effort to help these people and not to victimize them at any stage of this process. Source: Fijivillage News, 16 January 2005