Lyn Bharath

Lyn Bharath.

Photo:  Robert Bharath

ALTHOUGH the differently abled make up a sizeable percentage of our population, we are starved of data concerning persons living with disabilities in T&T. But this we know for sure—their challenges are many. The differently abled live in an environ­ment that is not conducive to their needs; they lack access to transport and this limits their ability to function independently. In addition, they’re often stereotyped.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the differently abled account for about 15 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of developing nations. That figure includes not only those born with a disability but also those who have acquired a disability.

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“A donation from just one person could save up to three lives” – these words are stated on The UWI Blood Donor Foundation’s (UWIBDF) website and have been repeated in blood donor campaigns globally. Yet there is a lack of voluntary blood donors in Trinidad and Tobago. How could that be?

TWENTY years after Ras Shorty I drew his last breath, his legacy lives on. To mark the 20th anniversary of his passing, his children and fans will gather at the Blackman ranch in Piparo, South Trinidad today to pay tribute to the Father of Soca and jamoo music who left an indelible mark on the culture of T&T.

The first time I saw calypsonian/musician/pioneer of soca, Ras Shorty I in person was in 1987. I was walking along Frederick Street in Port of Spain, near Golden Doors Arcade, when he appeared, accompanied by his son, Eldon.

LOS Angeles is a long way from Piparo, where Avion Blackman spent most of her childhood with her parents Ras Shorty I and Claudette Blackman and their large family. Even though the award-winning artiste and bassist for the group Christafari now lives in Los Angeles, California, USA, with her husband and their eight-year-old daughter, the path which Avion’s life and career has taken would not have been possible had it not been for the strong influence of her father.