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PM to parents: Safeguard your children

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar greets 89-year-old Babwnie Ramroop during the commissioning of lights at Mendez Recreation Ground, Mendez Trace, Penal Rock Road, on Tuesday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has appealed to parents to be more vigilant in protecting their children. Her call came after two children died by drowning in two separate incidents, two brothers—age nine and 15—were shot dead at their home on Sunday and two more teenagers were murdered on Monday.  



Speaking on the eve of International Day of Innocent Children and Victims of Aggression and just after T&TEC’s illumination ceremony at Mendez Recreation Ground, Penal, Persad-Bissessar described the deaths as heart-rending. She said although accidents were avoidable, citizens must always keep an eye out for children, whether or not they are family. 



“Once again we renew the call to parents. Parents are the first caregivers of the children, so they (children) are in their hands and in their hearts. Therefore, we have to keep looking,” she added. She said the question must be asked always and at every point in time: “Where is the child?” She said it was a habit she had inculcated and advised other parents and grandparents to do the same.



“Once I am home and that child is there, my grandchildren or anyone of them, I never take my eyes off them. “I ask every parent, I am not saying I am a model parent but every parent or sibling, any member in the family, to never take your eyes off your child and always have someone there with your child.” Unfortunately, she said, accidents did happen. 


“Unfortunate tragedies are all the more heart-rending when it is a child who is helpless and need the care of others, so again, I call on parents and all caregivers to be more vigilant and to always keep their eyes out, looking out for the child or children around them,” she added. Despite police statistics showing that crime was down, Persad-Persad said the homicide rate had not decreased. 


“The homicide rate is not down. Those are matters we continue to work on and we remain vigilant and continue to work to try to deal with matters like that. Again, it is sad and tragic for all of us,” she added.


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