The video posted on social media showing a father physically and verbally abusing his disabled son was shocking, disgusting and very disturbing. In fact, it is hard to tell which is worse: the content of the video or the fact that the person behind the camera chose to take a video of the horrible scene and post it online instead of acting upon what was happening right in front of his eyes.
The video showed a man – 49-year-old Koomaren Armand who lives at Surinam – beating up his 23-year-old son, a young disabled man who is unable to walk, with a hose, kicking him with his foot and slapping him while assaulting him verbally. Akshay, the son, didn’t seem to know why he was being mistreated. “I haven’t done anything,” he kept saying while the neighbours and children, who stood at a safe distance, repeatedly asked the man to stop.
Armand continued to curse out loud and beat his son – without anyone stopping him – until he had had enough. Akshay, who also suffers from diabetes, was later taken to the hospital of Rose Belle, where he was admitted. While Akshay claimed that he is often the victim of such treatment, his father, who was arrested on Friday night, had the audacity of denying any ill-treatment toward his son. Later on, Armand slightly changed his statement and claimed that he always takes care of his son and “rarely” abuses him.
However, not only does the video show an entirely different story and abuse on a visibly harmless disabled man, but it also shows the environment and conditions in which some people, especially children, live. Akshay, like several people living in the area, has no access to electricity, water and a bathroom. Meanwhile millions are being spent on projects such as the Metro Express and the prime minister continues his talks on combatting poverty, while his deputy prime minister talks about increasing the price of water.
Surprisingly, Minister of Family Welfare Roubina Jaddoo – who is quick to jump on some cases of alleged child abuse – has not reacted on this clear abuse case yet. In fact, unlike the last time when she spoke strongly against abuse on national television, the minister has not said a word about this. But maybe she has been too busy attending food festivals and robot launches, as seen on her Facebook account.
If it weren’t for technology and the internet, none of us would really know about some of the things that are happening in the country (remember the recent David Gaiqui case?), and what we see on social media are clear indications that not enough is being done by the government to stop abuses, domestic violence and combat poverty in the country. Unfortunately, unless the government decides to stop talking and preaching, and start acting, nothing is likely to change and we will continue to witness such violence and abuses again and again.
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