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Meet Ganga: ‘The man who has to provide 51 meals a day for his family’

By Ravin Singh

WHILE the average family of 4 caters for 12 individual meals a day, 57-year -old Donald ‘Ganga’ Rampersaud and his wife, Vanetta Rampersaud, were tasked with finding 51 meals a day for their 15 children and themselves.

Married for over 31 years, the couple sat under a rented bottom house and told their story of having to care and provide for their 15 children, six of whom are still in school.

Apparently shy, Vanetta allowed her husband to tell their heart-rending story of poverty, determination, and sacrifices which continue even to this day. Ganga explained that he met the woman who would eventually become his wife while living with his mother in a certain village in Wakenaam. The two subsequently became married and remained at his parents’ home. Not long after, his parents asked them to leave; and with nowhere to go and no one to turn to, he built a house out of troolie palm to house his wife.

Donald ‘Ganga’ Rampersaud shows off his crop
Donald ‘Ganga’ Rampersaud shows off his crop

Emotional about this experience, he plaintively recalled that when it rained his family would stand in the house with their bed (a piece of cloth) and wait for it to stop raining before going back to sleep. By this time, he said, the inside of the entire house would be soaked. “Those were real hard times, but we didn’t have a choice,” he explained.

After living in his troolie home for about a year, he was eventually able to buy a house from his sister for $27, having saved from the pittance he earned from picking coconuts. But things went wrong again, because despite Ganga having purchased the house, he was removed from the property because the land was not in his name. Thus he started renting a house in another village.

Not too long after, he was forced to return to his mother’s place, since his landlord refused to provide him with rent receipts and threatened to throw him out at any time. Now a father of ten, Ganga was able to acquire two donkey carts while he was still working as a coconut picker. His wife also contributed financially from the little she earned from cleaning pointer brooms at the backdam.

“Me and my wife wuk mighty hard to tek care of these children,” he declared, adding that insults greeted them at every corner because they were evidently “poor.”

He admitted to sometimes stealing coconuts from the people he worked with to make an extra dollar to send his children to school. “I never play with them children schooling. I mek sure they attend school, and they got a good attendance record. I never get away [from them], although it did hard on me. Is me children, so I stay with them,” Ganga declared.

The father of 15 detailed that he then took up small-scale farming with his wife, and would travel to Parika to sell the produce there. He added that it was extremely difficult for them because small scale farmers are at the mercy of buyers.

He revealed that last year he started planting crops on the Wakenaam sea dam, since many persons were doing likewise. He plants bananas and plantains, which he says are “bursting.”  But this, too, has not been without challenges. Ganga explained that his first experience of planting on the sea dam entailed 1500 suckers which were purchased for $105,000. He recalled sending his daughter one morning to check on the crops, and she returned to say that someone had already reaped the produce. Furious, he went to the police, and someone was taken into custody. However, the police subsequently released that person on ground that the sucker plants were not marked.

Determined to make a living by hook or crook, Ganga returned to the sea dam and replanted suckers, which presently are in their blooming stage.

Aggressive in his tone, the father of 15 said he has been made aware that Government intends to spray the sea dam to rid it of plants. He is, as such, pleading with the authorities not to implement this plan, since the demise of his crops would mean unspeakable suffering for his family.

But that is not the only burden Ganga carries right now. One of his sons, 11-year-old Daniel Rampersaud, was struck down by an allegedly drunk motorcyclist three months ago, and has had the lower part of his leg broken in half. And despite the accident being witnessed by 25 persons, Ganga says, he has not yet been compensated by that motorcyclist, and has been forced to spend more than $200,000 for medical treatment and travel expenses to and from the hospital and court.

Ganga says his son had a bright future ahead of him, since he was the best graduating student at Arthurville Primary School, having written the National Grade Six Assessment examinations (NGSA) earlier this year. He explained that five of his other children had also made the best of their opportunities to have an education, but limitations continue to make it difficult for them.

The family currently lives without electricity in the home, while other basic necessities such as water and food pose difficulties in acquiring.

“If you mek children you got to mine them. I ain’t asking the Government to mine them for me; but I just asking for a little help, because people in better positions than me get more help than me. I don’t have nothing in me name. I put in for a house lot years now, and I ain’t hear back from anybody yet,” a tearful Ganga disclosed.

He hopes to one day be delivered from the vicious cycle of poverty and live a comfortable life with his family, whom he says he would never abandon.

“When you poor, people tek advantage of you; you don’t get good people to marrid your children them. So I want try and tek them out of this situation,” Ganga disclosed.

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cain posted:

I wonder how life was/is for them all.

We have large families here. Its a big financial drain and parents are too tired to give special attention to each child.

In this case, the father alone work and the mother is at home looking after the little ones. By the time the older children  are able to help the family, they pack up and leave.

Prashad posted:

 Hinduism in Guyana has become a every man for himself operation.

 

 

That's not true about Hinduism. There are many prominent Hindus who are very charitable.  Everyone should look after their own interests first before tending to others. Don't you?

Mitwah posted:

15 children... that's a lot of sex. I know another couple like them. The father was very abusive to the wife and children. I hope this is not the case here.

I came from a family of 13 children with similar hardship where my parents made sacrifices to put food on the table and send us to school. A big family was a way of life, and we never dare to question our parents as to why they gave birth to so many of us. Life is a gift, and we were the reasons our parents worked and sacrificed for. Today, from 13 children, we're down to six. Our parents also passed on. Every family has their own unique story to tell.

Prince posted:
Mitwah posted:

15 children... that's a lot of sex. I know another couple like them. The father was very abusive to the wife and children. I hope this is not the case here.

I came from a family of 13 children with similar hardship where my parents made sacrifices to put food on the table and send us to school. A big family was a way of life, and we never dare to question our parents as to why they gave birth to so many of us. Life is a gift, and we were the reasons our parents worked and sacrificed for. Today, from 13 children, we're down to six. Our parents also passed on. Every family has their own unique story to tell.

But you did not grow up in poverty. What's the source for this article?

Mitwah posted:
Prince posted:
Mitwah posted:

15 children... that's a lot of sex. I know another couple like them. The father was very abusive to the wife and children. I hope this is not the case here.

I came from a family of 13 children with similar hardship where my parents made sacrifices to put food on the table and send us to school. A big family was a way of life, and we never dare to question our parents as to why they gave birth to so many of us. Life is a gift, and we were the reasons our parents worked and sacrificed for. Today, from 13 children, we're down to six. Our parents also passed on. Every family has their own unique story to tell.

But you did not grow up in poverty. What's the source for this article?

I grew up in poverty when my father died at the age of 42 and my mother had to struggle with all of us. I posted this same article a few years back, but I don't remember the source of it. Through this article, I recalled the similarity of my upbringing in younger days. We consider poverty as a way of life then and thankful for life one day at a time.   

Mitwah posted:
Prashad posted:

 Hinduism in Guyana has become a every man for himself operation.

 

 

That's not true about Hinduism. There are many prominent Hindus who are very charitable.  Everyone should look after their own interests first before tending to others. Don't you?

I live in a large city in North America that has 40 thousand Hindus. The majority of Hindus here are from India, Nepal and Bhutan. It is the only major religion here that does not have a social services organization for its members. The Christians have several social services organizations, Islam has one social services organization,  the Jews have one social services organization, the Sikhs has one social services organization. Hinduism zero.  If you are a Hindu and you have a problem then the Hari Krishnas may give you free food and shelter. That is it.

Prashad posted:
Mitwah posted:
Prashad posted:

 Hinduism in Guyana has become a every man for himself operation.

 

 

That's not true about Hinduism. There are many prominent Hindus who are very charitable.  Everyone should look after their own interests first before tending to others. Don't you?

I live in a large city in North America that has 40 thousand Hindus. The majority of Hindus here are from India, Nepal and Bhutan. It is the only major religion here that does not have a social services organization for its members. The Christians have several social services organizations, Islam has one social services organization,  the Jews have one social services organization, the Sikhs has one social services organization. Hinduism zero.  If you are a Hindu and you have a problem then the Hari Krishnas may give you free food and shelter. That is it.

Which Mandir does Ganga and family attend? There is free food there every Sunday.  I would like to get the source of this article and how to get help to this family.

Mitwah posted:

15 children... that's a lot of sex. I know another couple like them. The father was very abusive to the wife and children. I hope this is not the case here.

Use your contact in Guyana and tell the government not to spray the man farm and also see if the government can  provide a house lot and whatever help available . The old saying Poverty  is a Crime.

kp posted:
Mitwah posted:

15 children... that's a lot of sex. I know another couple like them. The father was very abusive to the wife and children. I hope this is not the case here.

Use your contact in Guyana and tell the government not to spray the man farm and also see if the government can  provide a house lot and whatever help available . The old saying Poverty  is a Crime.

What village and where exactly is this family located?

Mitwah posted:

How old is this article? I wonder if Bibi knows anything about this family?

KP is lost.

I am doing an early 18 hole tee off 7am. It should not be difficult to find Donald Ganga Rampersaud in Wakenaam ask your government  contact to check with the local authorities.  

kp posted:
Mitwah posted:

How old is this article? I wonder if Bibi knows anything about this family?

KP is lost.

I am doing an early 18 hole tee off 7am. It should not be difficult to find Donald Ganga Rampersaud in Wakenaam ask your government  contact to check with the local authorities.  

This article was posted by Baseman. His family is probably involved in helping this family. Would like to hear more form him as to the works his family charity foundation is doing and how we can assist.

If this is Wakenaam, a PPP stronghold, then this it is under PPP Local Authority control and they are the ones who will spray and kill Ganga's crop.  PPPites 

 

kp posted:

Why can you for once leave politics aside and help with a clean heart, are you sincere in your offer to help.

Jackass, you brought politics into it.  Did you not take those pills your Doctor gave you to improve your memory? 

 

kp posted:

Use your contact in Guyana and tell the government not to spray the man farm and also see if the government can  provide a house lot and whatever help available . The old saying Poverty  is a Crime.

 

kp posted:

I am doing an early 18 hole tee off 7am. It should not be difficult to find Donald Ganga Rampersaud in Wakenaam ask your government  contact to check with the local authorities. 

Mitwah posted:
kp posted:

Why can you for once leave politics aside and help with a clean heart, are you sincere in your offer to help.

Jackass, you brought politics into it.  Did you not take those pills your Doctor gave you to improve your memory? 

 

kp posted:

Use your contact in Guyana and tell the government not to spray the man farm and also see if the government can  provide a house lot and whatever help available . The old saying Poverty  is a Crime.

 

kp posted:

I am doing an early 18 hole tee off 7am. It should not be difficult to find Donald Ganga Rampersaud in Wakenaam ask your government  contact to check with the local authorities. 

How much do I need to educate you Little boy,  saying the word government does not mean politics . I did not talk of PPP or Pnc . I think we are in a different league,  you in the gutter. I don't  consume  any meds and no mental problems  like you. I will challenge for a ten mile run any day and you will have to eat my dust.Anyway my time to play

kp posted:
Mitwah posted:
kp posted:

Why can you for once leave politics aside and help with a clean heart, are you sincere in your offer to help.

Jackass, you brought politics into it.  Did you not take those pills your Doctor gave you to improve your memory? 

 

kp posted:

Use your contact in Guyana and tell the government not to spray the man farm and also see if the government can  provide a house lot and whatever help available . The old saying Poverty  is a Crime.

 

kp posted:

I am doing an early 18 hole tee off 7am. It should not be difficult to find Donald Ganga Rampersaud in Wakenaam ask your government  contact to check with the local authorities. 

How much do I need to educate you Little boy,  saying the word government does not mean politics . I did not talk of PPP or Pnc . I think we are in a different league,  you in the gutter. I don't  consume  any meds and no mental problems  like you. I will challenge for a ten mile run any day and you will have to eat my dust.Anyway my time to play

Ole fella go play with yuself. Heh teck dis. 

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