By Prior Beharry
‘THERE will be another angel around the throne tonight.”
And that angel will be Andrea Bharatt.
To the song Jealous of the Angels by Donna Taggart, a music truck led by a police outrider was in front of the hearse that took the body of 23-year-old court clerk Andrea Bharatt to her home at the Old Arima Road for the last time.
Hundreds lined the streets from 8am on Friday, as the hearse carrying Bharatt’s body made its way to her home as the heavens opened up and a drizzle drenched some mourners.
As the rains cleared, the coffin was placed in the compound where her father Randolph had fixed a toy car for her to drive. That video has gone viral just like the many candlelight vigils her death has sparked across the country.
Her body was found down a precipice at the Heights of Aripo six days after she took a car to go home. She worked at the Arima Magistrates’ Court as a clerk. Many have called for more laws and the use of non-lethal weapons to protect women in the wake of her death.
Many pulled out their cellphones, made videos and streamed the session live. Police Commissioner Gary Griffith was at the house and then to the drums of tassa music her body left her home for the last time to be taken to the Faith Assembly Church in Arouca.
The police outrider, a music truck blasting Jealous of the Angels led the way. Relatives and friends were dressed in pink jerseys emblazoned with a picture of the young woman. It was Bharatt’s favourite colour.
At the service, Bharatt was eulogised as a hardworking and diligent student.
Her friend Amber Gibbs said she wanted to be called “Dr Andrea Bharatt” and worked toward that dream.
The student of the Bon Air Secondary School, Northeastern Secondary School and then the University of the West Indies was very popular, said Gibbs.
She said, “Her name was the most popular name at our school when after every semester she will be called to the stage over and over again.
“She would collect trophies and awards which she will put in her bedroom.”
Gibbs said “She wanted to meet her mother but she did not want to leave her father.” Her mother passed away eight years ago.
One of Bharatt’s co-workers said she was recently promoted and the Arima Magistrates’ Court where she was an exemplary employee.
On the night that she went missing her co-workers felt nothing about returning to open the court at 9pm to do certain things, an employee of the court said.
The officiating minister, pastor Terrence Williams said he was heartbroken when Bharatt’s body was found.
He said, “Fear has taken over the land because of a few people, a few men and women. We are calling on the authorities to take control of the land.
“This cannot continue. We do not want to see on the news another Andrea.”
Also speaking at the funeral was Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who said that Bharatt became a daughter to the country.
She said, “I may not have known Andrea personally, but in the past days, I feel as though I came to know her, just as so many others, as the lovely, kind, intelligent, hard-working and ambitious young woman she was. We have lost a beautiful human soul.
“She has become like a daughter to any one of us, a child to every one of us, a daughter of our nation.
“As a mother, I can see that Andrea was a devoted daughter that we all could feel proud of. She was her daddy’s little girl, her teachers’ shining star, her friends’ biggest supporter, and her family’s light.
“Recently someone showed me a video of Andrea and her dad playing with a toy car that she had when she was a toddler. The innocence and the pure joy I heard in her laughter and the beauty I saw in her smile will be imprinted in our minds as she is laid to rest today.
“So too will be her graduation photo beaming with pride over her accomplishments, eager and ready to make her way in the world.”
After the funeral her body was taken Belgrove’s Funeral Home in Tacarigua in the procession with the music truck blaring the song Jealous of the Angels.