MONROVIA — Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has joined the former Indian Honorary Consul General to Liberia Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva to distribute hot cooked meal to 1,361 inmates at the Monrovia Central Prison, with a call for the decongestion of prison facilities across the country to curb the consistent shortage of food and other basic necessities at these facilities.
The meal included: rice and soup, cake, soft drinks, water, among others.
The presentation of the food and other items to the inmates on Christmas Day was part of the Hot Cooked Meal Initiative launched by Mr. Sachdeva in 2017 to combat hunger in the post-conflict Liberia.
Since its inauguration, the initiative has served nearly four million plates of hot cooked meal.
Mr. Sachdeva is commonly known as “Jeety” in Liberia. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the premier Jeety Trading Corporation and Jeety Rubber Liberia Limited which is under construction in Weala, Margibi County.
Speaking in an interview with Reporters shortly after the distribution, VP Taylor underscored the need for foreign entrepreneurs and others to buttress the efforts being applied by government to provide basic necessities for inmates at various prison compounds across the country.
She observed that as a result of the over crowdedness of various prisons, especially the Monrovia Central Prison, interventions being made by the government and others are most often not sufficient.
She added that these facilities will continue to experience shortage of food, drugs and other essential materials as a result of congestion.
“We are asking those who are out there to help because, there are many prisons across the country. Government cannot do all and so we are calling on them to come and help because this is a social work.”
“This facility (Monrovia Central Prison) was built for 374 persons, but we have more than 1,200 persons here. So, you can imagine the stress on the system including the food issue and healthcare.”
VP Taylor noted that providing helping hands or aid to the needy, particularly inmates should be a responsibility of entrepreneurs and others who are in the position to do so.
She, however, vowed to explore avenues to provide vocational training skills to inmates at the MCP.
For his part, Mr. Sachdeva pointed out that his decision to consistently provide feeding and basic needs to inmates, under privileged, less fortunate and neglected Liberian youths, children and elders is in keeping with his biblical responsibility.
He added that he has been inspired by the scriptures to intensify his efforts towards serving humanity.
“The Liberian people are my family and they are God’s children. I feel inspire and so happy to distribute food, soft drink and cake to each of them on our Lord Jesus’ birthday.”
He stressed that despite being reprimanded for the crimes committed or awaiting trial, inmates are created in the image of God and as such, they should not be forgotten.
He noted that following their release, inmates would have a positive reflection on the love and care shown them while in prisons and also be motivated to become productive citizens in the respective communities and country at large.
“Jeety” also provided meal to about 3000 less fortunate citizens in residing in various slum communities in Monrovia and over 1000 children in Weala, Margibi County.
He also presented gifts worth thousands of United States dollars to the children in observance of Christmas Day.
“I just want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Every Christmas and July 26 we will be here to have party for the children of Weala. I am a Liberian by heart and Indian by passport. Weala is my home; I want to live and die here. I want all of you to enjoy and merry make. “Whatever we are doing here is God’s works and blessings.”
“Jeety” also embarked on the construction of a modern clinic worth US$to provide adequate health care delivery to thousands of residents of Weala in Cinta Township, Margibi County as part of his company’s corporate social responsibility to the locals in Weala.
The 25-bedroom health facility will accommodate more than 55 in-take patients in Weala. It is nearly 90% completed will commence full operations at the end of this year.
It will host an operation theatre, a modernized laboratory, x-ray room, ultra sound, eye treatment room, store room, pharmacy, emergency room, three doctor offices, among others.
The project is about 95% completed.
Dr. M. Hablani, is the incoming head of the proposed Jeety Clinic. He previously worked at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital and the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.