I find it hard to understand why twelve citizens of Mauritius, of which eleven are women, have to go on a hunger strike, which is now in its 8th day, to make themselves heard. Whether or not the assistant director at Foyer Namaste is guilty is irrelevant. The 52 persons who were left jobless in the wake of your decision to close the 4 centres of Foyer Namaste should, in my humble opinion, be given a different treatment.
As far as I know, those 52 individuals are not guilty of any wrongdoing and yet they are paying a hefty price for the alleged sexual abuse by the assistant director. I fully appreciate the gravity of the matter but still fail to understand how you can abruptly decide to make 52 people redundant on such grounds. The argument out in the public is that a similar charge has been levied upon an MITD instructor and the MITD staff hasn’t been laid off as a result. Why is it that those two cases have been dealt with in such a disparate manner ? Are you in possession of information which the general public doesn’t know ? In which case, I would be grateful if you could communicate with your population.
Many of the employees at Foyer Namaste are breadwinners in their mono-parental families and as such rely on their monthly paltry salary to earn an honest living and make the ends meet. I would also find it difficult and revolting if I were to lose my job tomorrow because my superior was accused of some immoral behaviour. Ugly ducklings can exist after all, even when the most rigorous checks are enforced. What is the logic and rationale behind depriving a human being of a hard day’s work when there is a demand for the service as well as the means to finance it ?
The existence of Foyer Namaste itself is testimony to the fact that these heavily disabled individuals are in need of special attention which only a specialised centre can offer. In another episode of this tragedy, we heard that many of the children who were relocated were sent to Brown Sequard by the CDU as there was no other options. The willingness of the private sector to fund the Foyer through their CSR funds also proves that means are available to finance such essential NGOs. How can a responsible and caring government, which you claim to be, decide to sacrifice fifty-two experienced field workers when you have clearly demonstrated by your own actions that the public sector is unable to attend to those children ? Are you not on the verge of creating another problem by trying to deal with this issue in a rather amateurish and inhuman style ? Pardon me my lack of politically correct civilities.
I think we are in consensus in saying that the government does not have the means to cater for the needs of these children and therefore have to rely on NGOs to carry out this priceless work. I also think we are in consensus in saying that funds are available to finance those NGOs through CSR accounts. So what are you waiting for to create the necessary conditions for the setting up of a truly reliable and well governed entity to look after those disabled persons, with proper processes in place to ensure that such atrocities, if it ever happened, do not repeat themselves ? Logically, these 52 persons should keep their jobs and carry on doing what they’ve been doing for so many years, that is look after those disabled persons in a caring manner.
It is very painful to see three ladies who could have been my mother stretchered off to the hospital on a chilly night in Port Louis because they are being victimised for a crime they did not commit and have found no other recourse than a hunger strike to create awareness about the precarious and unjust situation. I, therefore, urge the Government of Mauritius, in the name of justice, to seriously reconsider the demands of the hunger strikers so that they are not penalized in any way for a crime they did not commit. Why would 25 women, some as old as 64 years old, be willing to engage in a hunger strike if it was not out of desperation and a strong sense of injustice ?
Every minute that goes by is a minute of pure insanity…