It’s been four years since Narise Maharajh lost her home to a fire. Now, she spends her life alone, rejected by many with only seven dogs to keep her company.
And although she may seem like a village outcast, Maharajh, 58, of Centeno Trace, La Fortune, Pluck Road, Woodland still believes she could contribute to the society.
Sitting outside her plyboard home surrounded by bushes and old water kegs, Maharajh sings Hindu religious songs.
Her voice is melodious and she dreams of going from temple to temple to sing. Maharajh has written all her favourite songs in a book.
When the heat of the sun beats down on the shack and it gets unbearable to stay inside, Maharajh told us she comes outside to sit under a tree to sing her inspirational songs.
“It is really tough living here. I have no proper place to sleep but I try my best to be as comfortable as I can,” she explained.
She said a few years ago, she lived in a proper house but in 2016, a fire destroyed everything she owned.
“It was a little piece of candle that I had burning and I didn’t realise it would burn down everything,” she said.
Since then she has been living without electricity and furniture.
Her neighbours came together and got a few pieces of plywood which they used to rebuild her home. Since then she has not been able to afford a stove, a bed or any kind of furniture.
Maharajh sleeps on a piece of plywood set up on bricks. With no stove, she cooks on a piece of galvanize outside the shack.
At first, she was reluctant to admit that she cooks on the galvanized sheet.
“I used that to make smoke to drive away the mosquitoes,” she said. But when Guardian Media enquired further she admitted that she cooked outside using firewood because she had no stove.
She also has no blankets to cover her.
Having no one to care for her, Maharajh said the dogs were her protection. The shack has no curtains but Maharajh was able to make one using pieces of tie strap she found inside some cardboard boxes.
“I went to get some cardboard boxes for the dogs to sleep on and all these straps were in there so I took Elmers glue and stuck them together and that was how I made a curtain,” Maharajh explained proudly.
The house has no running water so Maharajh walks to her neighbour’s house to fill water from a barrel she placed to catch rainwater.
Councillor for the area Doodnath Mayrhoo, who took Guardian Media to her home, said even though Maharajh lived alone, she needed help. After her home burnt down, Mayrhoo said he tried to get assistance from the National Self Help Commission and the Ministry of Social Development. However, he said no assistance was forthcoming.
Mayrhoo called on corporate T&T to assist her with building materials so she could get a proper home.
Anyone willing to assist her can contact Maryhoo at 751-3565.