[Video] Upper Dagotiere: A Retired Mother Poorun Hemontee And Her Sick Son Soon To The Streets

A retired sexagenarian and his sick son have only four more days to find a roof. Otherwise they will soon find themselves on the street, who received a deportation order from NHDC housing that they occupy since 1994.

She does not know where to turn to find help. Poorun Hemontee, 63, living in a dwelling of NHDC in Upper Dagotière, received an eviction order and must leave no later than 24 August. Not working and having to deal with a sick son, the sexagenarian has struggled to pay the rent and saw her arrears accumulate over the years. The mother of three children – two daughters are married and do not live under her roof – lives with her eldest, aged 42, who suffers from a serious skin disease.

“Kot mo pou ale misie ek sa zanfan malad la ? Gouvernnman pa fer nanie pou ed nou malgre tou laport mo finn tape,” says the sexagenarian in tears. This old woman who retired as a laborer confides to have invested in housing in 1994. “J’avais fait un dépôt de Rs 40 000 et je devais payer un loyer de Rs 1 500 chaque mois,” she says. At that time, she was separated from her husband – who sunk into alcoholism – and lived with her three children.

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Have their own home, she said, was then a dream that materialized. With her salary and that of her daughters, she says she had no problem in meeting the rent each month. “Finn gayn dizan mo bann zanfan ek mwa ti met enn sit ek nou ti gayn Rs 175 000. Nou ti al MHC pou pey enn lavans lor nou lakaz. Enn ofisie dir nou pa gayn drwa vers sa kantite larzan la ek ki mo ena 25 ans pou pey mo loan ki ti Rs 300 000 a lepok. Lerla monn gard larzan pou fer mariaz mo de tifi,” says Poorun Hemontee.

Unpaid rent

During this period, her husband – now deceased – returned to live with them. “Mes enfants avaient décidé de reprendre leur père à la maison pour s’occuper de lui, car il était gravement malade. Mais après leur mariage, mes filles sont parties de chez moi et je me suis retrouvée seule à m’occuper d’un époux et d’un fils malades.” Je ne travaillais plus et j’avais du mal à joindre les deux bouts. J’ai reçu de nombreuses lettres de rappel pour loyer impayé et les arriérés se sont accumulés.”

She says having repeatedly tried to find a solution in order to reach an agreement with the NHDC but in vain. “J’ai proposé de payer Rs 3 000 au lieu de Rs 1 500 par mois, afin de couvrir en partie le retard. J’étais même disposée à donner les Rs 5 000 de ma pension de vieillesse chaque mois. Mais ils n’étaient pas d’accord, car ma dette s’élève désormais à Rs 700 000 et que la maison a déjà été revendue depuis trois ans. Ils m’ont dit que je devais partir.”

Commitments not respected

Poorun Hemontee shows how things happened disgusts her. “Mo finn gayn enn zizma kont mwa lakour san ki finn konvok mwa ek finn ordonn mwa kit lakaz-la le 24 août 2016. Bann ofisie la ek mem responsab NHDC la finn maltret mwa ek koz kouma zot anvi ek mwa akoz mo enn ti dimounn. Zame zot finn rod enn solisyon pou ed mwa pey mo lakaz.” Moreover, on 8 August, the Central Water Authority, under the order of the NHDC, cut off the water meter from his home.

Mother and son, in addition to their share of misfortune in everyday life, are seen, more deprived of the precious liquid. “Mem ou pir lennmi, zame ou priv li delo ek la limier. Kouma enn gouvernnman ki sipoze ed ti dimounn kapav azir san pitie. Mo zanfan ena problem lapo li mem pa kapav begne, ena moutouk pe sorti dan twalet ek lakwizinn akoz pena delo,” says the desperate mother.

Solicited, Mahmad Kodabaccus, Chairman of the Mauritius Housing Company, emphasized that Poorun Hemontee has not respected her commitments after each negotiation. The alternative was ultimate to go to court and to issue an eviction order. Regarding water, he explains that he was never aware of the policy of the institution to remove the meter from the CWA or even electricity. “Il se peut qu’elle ait des retards de paiement sur ses fractures pour que la CWA l’ait déconnectée,” he says.

We have contacted Subeer Basdeo about this case and see what can be done to save her family and house. You can contact Subeer Basdeo on his mobile phone on 57724295.

Alternatively, we’re collecting donations if you can not call or travel and are outside Mauritius. Payment can be made online via PayPal and Credit Card:

(money will be given to Subeer Basdeo for distribution of food and items)