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PM: Be vigilant with your kids

Sunday, December 15, 2013
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is hugged and kissed by Kaaya Williams after she received her toy at the Prime Minister’s Annual Christmas Toy Drive at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA

As she distributed toys to over 6,000 children at Couva yesterday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made a stirring plea with parents to be vigilant with their children. Dressed in a red dress, complete with a Santa’s hat and red shoes, Persad-Bissessar hugged and kissed the children who gathered with their parents at the Ato Bolden Stadium in Couva. 



Saying children must always be loved and protected, Persad-Bissessar said she was looking forward to a report from the Children’s Task Force which was set up following the brutal murder and rape of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch in November. The girl’s decomposing body was found stuffed in a barrel inside her mother’s bedroom at their Building 4, Maloney Gardens, D’Abadie apartment, three days after she went missing.


Instructions have since been given by Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard for her stepfather to be charged with her murder. “We have set up a Task Force and they promised to give us a report at the end of the year. We can do all that we can to help but my message has to be that parents, guardians and caregivers must be on the alert at all times,” Persad-Bissessar said.


She noted even though parents may place trust in a caregiver, sometimes it is the caregiver who puts the child at risk: “Parents must always keep children close and always be vigilant. You are the first in line to take care of the children, so be vigilant,” she added. Persad-Bissessar also urged the children to always do good. “I always say: see good, be good and do good. Keep close to God because He is always there to guide us,” she said.


Asked what was her Christmas wish, Persad-Bissessar said she wanted peace and happiness for all of T&T. She also said by the time Christmas comes, over 50,000 toys would have been distributed in T&T. Praising “Santa’s elves and helpers,” Persad-Bissessar said no Government funding was used in the toy drive.

“There have been many Santas and good Samaritans who made this effort successful and I want to thank each and every one of them,” she said. She commended the Peter Kanhai-led team which made the toy drive a success.
Persad-Bissessar will distribute toys at Skinner Park, San Fernando,  today.


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