GOVERNMENT is now appealing to Ravi Balgobin Maharaj to end his hunger strike and preserve his health and wellbeing. The appeal was made in a public statement by Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communication, Senator Vasant Bharath, following news that the young man collapsed on Sunday, four days into his hunger strike.
“We have tremendous respect and regard for Ravi. As a young man, he is demonstrating great fortitude in standing by his principles and his belief that the Point Fortin Highway should continue. And it is an inspiration for us all in the Government that he has undertaken his mission without overt attempts for media attention. This young man is being driven by incredible passion and we respect that,” Minister Bharath said.
“But even as we admire his passion in standing up for thousands of people who will benefit from the project, we simply do not want to see such a committed young man risk his future and his wellbeing.”
The Minister added: “We have made a similar appeal to Dr Kublalsingh and while we accept that he is a grown man who has made a personal decision, we take with a great degree of seriousness the fact that Ravi has his entire life ahead of him, yet he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater national good.”
“I want to assure Ravi that the Government is committed to doing everything within its power to ensure that the project proceeds to the benefit of many thousands of families.”
Saying that the passion displayed by Ravi is a strong positive signal for the future leadership of Trinidad and Tobago, the Minister noted: “One of the very strong beliefs of the Government is that we must work hard to ensure that the country we build is one that will instil pride and purpose in young people. What Ravi has demonstrated by his undertaking is that our country has a great deal to look forward to in the future from our young men and women.”