Shelter for battered and abused women, children opens in Berbice

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By Leroy Smith

The newly constructed shelter. [iNew's Photo]
The newly constructed shelter. [iNew’s Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha on Monday May 05 commissioned the Bal Nivas Shelter for children and women who are victims of abuse.

The facility is located at Ankerville Corentyne, Berbice.

Speaking at a short ceremony before the official cutting of the ribbon and the unveiling of the plaque, President of the Hindu Dharmic Sabha Dr. Vindya Persaud said that the project which was first spoken about in 2009, is very close to her heart.

The facility has two sections and will be able to accommodate approximately sixty battered women and children. According to Dr Persaud, the shelter is open to all Guyanese and does not only cater for one religious group since the intention is to serve all of Guyana.

The facility has a spacious kitchen, huge land space, dinning and sitting rooms and a prayer area.

She said the centre was constructed after persons from Region 6 approached the Hindu Dharmic Sabha expressing the need for such a facility for the many women and children who suffer all forms of abuse.

According to her, it remains a sad state of affairs in Guyana when women and children have to seek shelter because of the abuse they are faced with, ever so often.

A section of the gathering at the commissioning ceremony of the shelter.
A section of the gathering at the commissioning ceremony of the shelter.

The new facility will also be used to provide counseling. While all the major works on the shelter have been completed, it is the intention to have the shelter fully functional by July once all the furnishing of the facility is completed.

Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar in his address told the gathering that the move by the Hindu Dharmic Sabha is commendable and expressed the hope that the facility will be used to serve all of Guyana.

While admitting that Guyana has legislation in place to deal with domestic violence and sexual offences which are similar to those in the United Kingdom and United States, the President said that enforcement of the law is needed.

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