How Irfaan Ali changed my life

first_imgDear Editor,I feel compelled to pen this letter, expressing my gratitude to Irfaan Ali for changing my life. I’m a teacher and have been living in Linden for over 25 years. Also, I’m a single parent with two kids.It was sometime in 2012 when I met Mr Ali. He was in Linden at the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) exercise distributing house lots. As a beneficiary, and soon to be homeowner, I was ecstatic. That morning I got up early and went straight down to where the OSS exercise was. To my surprise, the place was already crowded. I went straight to the staff that was distributing numbers, and three hours later, my number was called.Mr Ali was there, surrounded by two of his staff and was personally meeting and chatting with the beneficiaries as they were served. It was great to see people so excited. Never in the history of Linden has there been so many house lots distributed to the public on such a scale. People were literally overjoyed.Finally, it was my turn to draw a lot number from the bag. However, I was suddenly saddened to learn that my number landed me at the back of the scheme. So, like any other concerned citizen, I went straight to the then Minister (Mr Ali). He greeted me with a smile and asked: “Is everything okay?” A sense of relief suddenly entered me. It was as if, for some reason, I was sure he would resolve my problem. And I couldn’t be more correct. Not only was I able to get a better lot, but I was overjoyed to learn that a special programme was in place at the Ministry of Housing for teachers. Long story short, not only was I able to secure a loan at an interest rate below market rate but benefitted from discounts on my building materials and even my furniture. In the end, the total cost of my house came in at 75 per cent below my initial estimation.To this day, I owe my gratitude to Mr Ali for his vision and compassion. I’ve been a proud homeowner for over seven years, thanks to Mr Ali and I’m sure hundreds of families in Linden could attest to similar encounters. In fact, because of Mr Ali, thousands of Lindiners are now better off. I’m disheartened to say, however, that since 2015 the hope of becoming a homeowner came to an abrupt end. But we are optimistic. The upcoming election will present us with an opportunity to right our wrongs. Never again will we be deceived by the “caretakers”. It’s a pity we had to learn the hard way.Regards,Joycelyn Williamslast_img read more