Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Sofia Rosy Akbar with 86 – year – old Shiu Kumari, of Lautoka during the public consultations today.Phto:SUPPLIED.

An elderly woman of Lautoka today thanked Government for meeting with her and explaining to her the processes and criteria to receive welfare assistance.

Shiu Kumari, 86, of Lautoka expected officials from the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty to visit her home to discuss her application. Instead, the Lautoka resident was surprised when the head of the Ministry, the Hon. Minister Sofia Rosy Akbar decided to meet with her in person and discuss Government’s welfare options.

“Life has been very hard over the past 10 to 20 years as my eye sight deteriorated rapidly and I couldn’t move around for fear of getting injured,” she said.

“I have heard this government has done so much and only hope if I am assisted with food our vouchers to help me survive.”

The Minister told her that the ministry would urgently attend to her needs and ordered the staff to ensure that all elders that need assistance must be given priority.

“I will ensure that you are assisted and this will be done soon as you have been an inspiration to those living either with you and also the community,” Hon. Akbar said.

“To the senior citizens, the Fijian Government cares for you and will continue to do so in the New Year. You have contributed to our lives and to Fiji and it’s time for us to repay you all.”

She reassured senior citizens that Government would continue to explore ways to assist them.

“Our respectable elders, I assure you that by law, your interests as older persons are protected and the Government assures you that we will provide the means to see that you age with respect, trust and dignity.”

Under the 2013 Constitution, the Bill of Rights has for the first time incorporated the strong wishes of all Fijians including the providence for a wide range of socio – economic rights.


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