The Government recognises the unflinching efforts of our elderlies contribution to the progress of the country and is thus strongly resolved to provide them with an enhanced quality of life through a range of welfare benefits, so that they live a healthy life in the best conditions. The Prime Minister, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement on Saturday afternoon, as he was speaking at the birthday celebration of the new centenarian, Mrs Marie Alicia Deesse at Providence.
Mrs Deesse whose father was a labourer and mother a housewife, was born in Providence. She was surrounded by two brothers and two sisters. The centenarian studied up to Standard 4 and later worked as a labourer at FUEL sugar estate.
On 20 November 1943, Marie Alicia got civilly married to Mr Georges Deesse, a school caretaker. The couple was blessed with 12 children, namely 4 sons and 8 daughters. She has 20 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. Mrs Deesse lost her husband in 2014. Her four daughters and one son have also passed away.
The centenarian attributes her long life to being very conscious of her well-being, and to the fact that she practices regular exercises. She likes to pray and attends Mass regularly.
Mrs Marie Alicia Deesse born on 27 June 1923 and the official ceremony to mark her 100th birthday was held this afternoon, at the Cooperative Centre in Providence and was attended by her relatives as well as eminent personalities including the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the Member of Parliament, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, and the Private Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Nand Prakash Ramchurrun.
On the occasion, a cheque amounting to Rs 26 203, a bouquet, a centenarian medal along with a certificate,and an Air Fryer, were offered to the centenarian by the personalities present. A gift was also offered to her by the Senior Citizens Council while the National Solidarity Fund remitted a cheque of Rs 10 000 to Mrs Deesse.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth underlined that the celebration of the 100th birthday of Mrs Deesse is an exceptional event and is a lifetime milestone achievement for anyone. He observed that her longevity can be attributed to her strict discipline in terms of her diet as well as her physically active lifestyle working as a labourer.
On that score, the Prime Minister recalled that the Government champions the cause of a healthy and physically active lifestyle, and stressed that it is spearheading various campaigns to raise awareness on the benefits associated with this way of living among the whole population.
As for Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo, she rejoiced that the milestone achievement of the centenarian is a matter of pride for the country while adding that Mauritius today enjoys the repute of an exemplary nation on the regional and international fronts following the contribution of the elderly population to its progress.
Budget 2023-2024, she said, provides our elderlies with continued support including an increase in the Basic Retirement Pension and other pension schemes, as well as caters for financial assistance for the purchase of wheelchairs, spectacles, hearing aids and dentures.
Besides, Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo condemned all forms of abuse on elderly persons, for which, she recalled, the law has been amended and the mobile App ‘Sekirite’ enabling immediate alert to the Police has been launched.