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This he said, will definitely see an end to the large number of destitute elders and children evident in the country.
The Head of State was at the time addressing the beneficiaries of the Dharm Shala, Albouystown, at its Annual Christmas Lunch.
Each year the Institution's management -- the Ramsaroop family, hosts a grand lunch for the inmates and those elders who visit occasionally at the Dharm Shala. President Jagdeo shared the lunch to those gathered and spent a considerable part of Christmas Day there.
The Dharm Shala, managed by Mr. Harry Ramsaroop and his family, was first started as a Hindu Temple in the early 1920's.
In April, 1921, the temple was converted to a home to care for the destitute, the sick, the abandoned, and those under dire economic circumstances, the poor and the aged. It is funded by the Ramsaroop family with help from public donations and a subvention from Government.
President Jagdeo was high in his praise for the work done by the Ramsaroop family to keep the facility going over the many years, despite the changing economic situations in Guyana.
"They have, with total commitment and dedication - maintained these facilities, and as a country, we are grateful for this,” he said.
While commending the efforts of all institutions that cater for the less fortunate elders and children, the Head of State noted that, should Guyanese be compassionate, then these institutions would be less burdened or probably become even extinct.
"If we have more compassion in this country, if families took care of their children and their elder more keenly, and if we looked after our neighbours and care for each other more, then all the orphanages and homes and other places where they keep children and destitute people could be closed," he said.
Such caring will help every Guyanese to find a home of their own, and "that is the kind of society we should aspire towards, not one that is materially fulfilled, but one that is fulfilling in every other way."
On this note, the President called on the religious community to take the reins of this struggle to foster compassion among members of society.
He renewed Government's commitment to making life better for all Guyanese, by not only improving the infrastructure, but also to make Guyana socially livable for all Guyanese regardless of their race and religious or political persuasion, and he expressed hope that 2003 will see significant accomplishments in this area.
Wishing the beneficiaries "a 2003 that would allow fulfillment of your deepest desires and wishes," the President urged them to take count of the blessing they are bestowed as Guyanese, since in many other countries, people are dying of starvation and lack of access to basic medication.
He also extolled the Guyanese people's ability to bear hardships and the many challenges being encountered locally, regionally and internationally.