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Trinidad: Sat Maharaj remembered as loving leader

By Trinidad Guardian

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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) —  Few peo­ple knew the soft­er side of Sat Ma­haraj and many brand­ed him as con­tro­ver­sial not know­ing that be­hind his acidic tongue, Ma­haraj had a heart that could have melt­ed stone.

Such were the trib­utes at his fu­ner­al ser­vice at the SDMS head­quar­ters, St Au­gus­tine, yes­ter­day.

Prin­ci­pal of Lak­sh­mi Girls’ Hin­du Col­lege So­nia Ma­hase and pres­i­dent of the SDMS Pri­ma­ry School Prin­ci­pals As­so­ci­a­tion Shar­main Bha­ga­loo-Ma­haraj, who both paid trib­ute to Ma­haraj, fought hard to con­tain their emo­tions yes­ter­day as they re­called the in­te­gral role the gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the SDMS played in build­ing a strong ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem for its 43 pri­ma­ry and five sec­ondary schools in T&T.

The court­yard of the SDMS was filled with hun­dreds of mourn­ers who braved the rains to pay their last re­spect.

Re­flect­ing on Ma­haraj’s life, Bha­ga­loo-Ma­haraj said he made land­mark vic­to­ries at the Privy Coun­cil.

Ma­haraj’s great­est achieve­ment she said was his ad­vance­ment in ed­u­ca­tion.

“He trans­formed our SDMS schools, which were first called and la­belled as cow­sheds, in­to pres­ti­gious learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions.”

Un­der Ma­haraj’s guid­ance, Bha­ga­loo-Ma­haraj said these schools to­day stand as bea­cons in com­mu­ni­ties.

“He was adamant that no child in an SDMS school should be left be­hind.”

Bha­ga­loo-Ma­haraj said those who “fell short” would feel Ma­haraj’s fiery out­burst be­hind closed doors.

She said Ma­haraj al­so had “a warm and gra­cious side that few were aware of and ex­pe­ri­enced.”

Try­ing hard to con­tain her tears, Bha­ga­loo-Ma­haraj said Ma­haraj was a “lov­ing, car­ing fa­ther fig­ure, a men­tor, guide and con­fi­dant whose shoes will be hard to fill.”

Bha­ga­loo-Ma­haraj said prin­ci­pals and SDMS self­ish­ly prayed for Ma­haraj to live to 100 but they all knew he was here on bor­rowed time.

“You have fear­less­ly fought and won your bat­tles, go and rest now with your wife Shan­ti,” Bha­ga­loo- Ma­haraj said, her voice crack­ing as she spoke.

Ma­hase spoke about Ma­haraj at­tend­ing the school’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mo­ny on No­vem­ber 7.

“At one point he turned and said to me, when we win our fifth con­sec­u­tive Pres­i­dent’s Gold Medal he was go­ing to ap­ply for a hol­i­day for all SDMS’ pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary schools to cel­e­brate.”

Ma­haraj, how­ev­er, did not live to see this hap­pen.

Stand­ing be­hind Ma­hase was the school’s 2019 Pres­i­dent’s Medal win­ner Ce­line Roodal, who was ap­plaud­ed for her achieve­ments. The school won 40 schol­ar­ships.

She said Ma­haraj would have been proud of the schol­ar­ships achieved at the Vish­nu Boys’ Hin­du Col­lege and Shi­va Boys’ Hin­du Col­lege.

“He has en­sured that all his sec­ondary schools have been placed on a tra­jec­to­ry of suc­cess.”

Ma­hase said Ma­haraj was un­com­pro­mis­ing, pas­sion­ate and at times a hard taskmas­ter.

Apart from be­ing their pil­lar of strength, Ma­haraj was their men­tor and vi­sion­ary.

“He be­came our gu­ru, our touch­stone and con­fi­dant,” Ma­hase said, try­ing hard to fight her tears.

Ma­hase said Ma­haraj en­sured that the ed­u­ca­tion of fe­males re­main a pri­or­i­ty while he stood proud of the strides made by fe­male stu­dents in the CSEC and CAPE ex­am­i­na­tions.

Pres­i­dent gen­er­al of the SDMS Pun­dit Kr­ish­na Ram­bal­ly said the last thing Ma­haraj fought against was the sedi­tion law.

“He dis­charged his re­spon­si­bil­i­ty with fi­nesse and tact. He was not one to be eas­i­ly dis­cour­aged. His lega­cy stands as tall and strong as he did. We have lost a great leader.”

Those who knew Ma­haraj could at­test that he was a lov­ing in­di­vid­ual.

Ram­bal­ly as­sured that the work of the SDMS will con­tin­ue in keep­ing with Ma­haraj’s vi­sion.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

One comment

  1. i thought it was said that the media was banned so how did these pictures came out.


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