Looking back I never thought at the time that we were poor. I always thought about trying to help those in the village that were poorer that we were. It was a sugar cane settlement housing workers that worked in the sugarcane fields. My mother, a cane cutter, had all thirteen of us well disciplined and by her care and dedication sent all of us to school. We the boys...all seven of us..six are girls, will go to the cane fields to assist her to cut and bundle canes during our growing up ages until we could fend for ourselves. It was hard work under the sweltering sun and at times we will go early in the morning long before sunrise to assist leaving the fields at dusk sometimes. Moya, my mother, will be paid for only the three tons per day even if we cut and loaded four tons or more.There were times she was allowed another chain so it could be 2x 3tons and we she would happy to get the extra for our sake.
During the planting season we will assist so we all learned to grow and harvest canes for the estate and we even had our own 5 acre plot to do the backbreaking work. Soon enough I was employed as an apprentice welder and followed the dedication of my mother's committment to hard work and eventually ended up as a Chief Engineer at the sugar factory and focussed on doing my best at all times.
My mother perservered through it all and the lessons learned from her through the experience of helping her in the fields gave me the opportuinty to travel the world in the sugar industry as I was able to do good work that others required. Those years in the field were not child labour but the best learning opportunity I ever had in spite of the adversity and hard work. Thanks Moya ...I love you more for it.
Submitted by Ram Sahadeo
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