Cyclone victims receive HOMES-CARE cards

People gathered for the HOMES-CARE assistance at Prince Charles Park in Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

AFTER a two-week wait, Nadi victims of tropical cyclones Josie and Keni finally received their HOMES-CARE cards yesterday.

This time around, there was no mad rush as witnessed at Prince Charles Park a fortnight ago.
Social Welfare Department officials and police managed to co-ordinate the process a lot smoother and improved crowd control resulted in faster screening of applicants.
Sadanarayan from Tunalia settlement was one of about 10,000 people who had waited for 13 hours on May 17 only to be turned away because of the overwhelming response to the HOMES-CARE initiative in Sigatoka.
Yesterday, he was all smiles as he walked out of Prince Charles Park with his M-PAiSA card at 10am.
He said he had learned from his last experience while waiting for the gates to open.
“This time I didn’t sleep outside,” the 78-year-old said.
“I just came early at 4am to get a number and wait in line.”
Mr Sadanarayan said everyone had been eagerly anticipating the day when the HOMES-CARE team would arrive in Nadi.
“A lot of people were left disappointed the first time around but now most of us are going back home happy.
“I can’t say anything bad except that I can finally buy something for my house.”
He said water had damaged goods inside his house and with the government aid program, he would be able to replace the items.
Mr Sharma was accompanied by Umesh Prasad, 72, who also waited as early as 5am outside the park.
“This is a very good assistance for the people who need it,” said the partially blind man.
“Although we waited for a while we knew that once we get the help we need we would be happy.”
The HOMES-CARE team will continue in Nadi today from 9am to 9pm.