A $100,000 offering of “love” was made yesterday by the family of slain teacher, Dian Paladee, on her behalf to El Dorado South Hindu Primary School, where she taught.
The donation was announced during a celebration at the school for the life and career of Paladee, who would have celebrated her 49th birthday yesterday and 29 years in the teaching service.
Paladee’s brother, Satnarayan Paladee, on making the announcement, said he believed it was a “birthday gift” his sister would have been happy about.
The offering is to go towards the school’s needs, said Satnarayan, who later appealed to the nation’s men to refrain from being abusive towards women.
Also present at yesterday’s ceremony were Paladee’s children, Sanjay and Sangeeta.
Dian Paladee was shot and killed last week by her former husband, Sanjeev Rambarran.
Reported missing by her family the night before, she was found dead in Rambarran’s St Augustine apartment last Friday.
Rambarran then turned the gun on himself and died from a single shotgun wound to the head.
Yesterday’s celebration painted the “Pennywise” stores heiress as a happy, “bubbly” and loving mother, friend and teacher who was “the rock” of the small primary school.
Emotional tributes in the form of poems and song, from the school choir that Paladee had led, filled the nearly three-hour ceremony.
The celebration included a Hindu ‘satsang’ by Dharmacharya/president general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Pundit Utam Maharaj. Maharaj’s discourse reflected on the eternal nature of the soul, or “atma” in Hinduism, and assured those who loved Paladee that she lives on.
Paladee was a trained Baal Vikaas guru in the ashram of late Indian spiritual leader Sai Baba and her colleagues said she was the most “amazing” person to come into contact with.
“She called everyone ‘lovely’,” said teacher Nandee James, who was close to tears during her tribute.
The celebration also drew attendance from principals of other schools and some parents.
Satnarayan Paladee, after stating that Dian will always be loved and remembered by her family, called on any men with abusive thoughts to think carefully and refrain from hitting women.
“Every man who gets it in his head to hit a woman, get it out of your head,” said Satnarayan, who added that Dian would have grown up with brothers who never laid a hand on her.
To women being abused, he said, “Get up and get out.”
Paladee said it was important for abused women to also have a support system to help them get out of the abusive relationship.
Described throughout as a heavily spiritual person, Dian would have “felt no pain” during her ordeal, Satnarayan Paladee said, as he believed that God would have taken his sister away first.
Teacher Shivanie Soogrim described her relationship with Paladee as being of the “mother-daughter” type and recalled being told, by Paladee, that “life is like a block of ice that is slowly melting and you do not know when it will finally melt, so use your life to put smiles on people’s faces”.