Love for Soogaree, 110
By Marlene Augustine Saturday, May 31 2014
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Caring daughter: Anandai Ramlagan tenderly caresses her mother Soogaree Jattan, 110, at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope yesterday....
Family and hospital staff showered Soogaree Jattan with love as they celebrated the oldest living Indian indentured immigrant’s 110th birthday at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope yesterday.
Jattan was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Kumar Boodram, chief executive officer of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA).
Jattan was hospitalised, on Tuesday, due to general weakness associated with her age.
She has been on oxygen and drips and has not been very responsive to calls of her name. Her family, however, were with her on her birthday, the Indian Arrival Day holiday. Jattan’s daughter Anandai Ramlagan said she was born in the province of Uttar Pradesh, India and came to Trinidad as a small child. Genealogist Deen previously told Newsday Jattan was three when she left India but had turned four by the time she and her family arrived in Trinidad aboard the Indus in 1908.
Ramlagan yesterday said it was August when her mother and her parents landed, settling at Brechin Castle Estate, Couva.
“She began working at the sugar plantations as a cane cutter at the age of 12. Soon after she married and started her own family and she had six children. She now has 19 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren,” Ramlagan said.
Ramlagan said “Nanny”, as her mother is called, has been well loved by her family, neighbours and the entire California community. A strict vegetarian, Jattan used to moved around unassisted and loved gardening.
Boodram yesterday said it was important to celebrate Jattan’s life.
“On this Indian Arrival Day, we have a unique citizen with us and we at the NCRHA are taking all necessary resources to ensure Soogaree gets the best medical attention and that she remains comfortable with her stay at Mt Hope.” Boodram said.
Jattan’s grandson Ravi Ramlagan, NCRHA manager Maurissa Ramsamooj, Head Nurse of Adult Medical One Josann Cordner were with her on the special day.