Blind T&T citizen Prakash Jaglalsingh may not be brought home from St Lucia as this country’s borders remain closed but yesterday he was able to breathe a sigh of relief when the chairman of the Global Brands Group of Companies reached out to offer him financial assistance in St Lucia.
Jaglalsingh, 52, went to St Lucia on March 8 on the invitation of a visually impaired friend to attend a religious thanksgiving service. His friend purchased his tickets and Jaglalsingh was supposed to return home on March 22.
But when he got to the airport for his 3 pm Caribbean Airlines flight, Jaglalsingh was told there would be no service to Trinidad. With this country’s borders closed at midnight on the same day, Jaglalsingh found himself stuck in St Lucia, running low on money and the medication he desperately needs to manage his diabetes.
Guardian Media published Jaglalsingh’s plight yesterday and Global Brands chairman Mario Aboud-Sabga made contact, asking for information to assist Jaglalsingh.
Aboud-Sabga said he felt compelled to assist Jaglalsingh as he remembers seeing him on board the same outgoing flight to St Lucia that he was on several weeks ago.
He said his loyalty to his fellow Trinidadians, especially at this trying time, also made want to assist Jaglalsingh.
Less than half an hour after Aboud-Sabga was given Jaglalsingh’s contact information, a relieved Jaglalsingh reached out to this reporter, saying he had been contacted by the Church’s Chicken brand manager in Castries and offered $500EC ($12533TT) to purchase medication and supplies. He said, “Tell Mr Sabga I appreciate his help so much, God bless him.”
Aboud-Sabga said in addition to that money, he will continue to assist Jaglalsingh until he is able to return home.And when he does, Aboud-Sabga said he wants to meet up with him for a cup of coffee.
“I saw him on the flight and I remember him so well, looking at him boarding and the attendants assisting him to his seat. I saw his story and it really touched me, knowing he is blind and this is what he has to endure,” he said. “I will continue to assist in any way I can until he can come home.”
Aboud-Sabga urged other business people to offer whatever support they can to their countrymen at this time. He said the group’s business in St Lucia is down by almost 70 per cent at this time as the COVID-19 pandemic shuts businesses and countries down around the globe.