Approxiamtely 15 years ago, Mr Murugan (then, 48 years old) used to operate a ‘mamak’ stall in one of the stall along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. His business grew and with his earnings he and his family were able to live comfortably. His circle of friends increased as his business expanded from just a ‘mamak’ stall to a restaurant! Nothing could possibly go wrong now, as he and his wife worked hard to provide a better future for their only son.
Then, 10 years ago all his dreams were dashed when he was struck down with stroke and he became incapable to fend for his family anymore. Life was harsh and unsympathetic as his so-called ‘good friends’ deserted him, in fear that he might borrow money from them. Such was the heartbreaking reality of life. Sadly, five years later misfortune struck again! He was diagnosed with diabetes! At the beginning, his wife struggled hard to keep up payment of the utility and high medical bills. Unable to do so as time passed, they had no choice but to sell off the restaurant and their son was forced to quit school. Mr. Murugan who loved his son so much, then decided to use part of the money from the sale of the restaurant to send his son to a vocational school in Seremban. Unfortunately, his son could not keep up academically as he has been out of school since Standard Five. His son went back to look after his sick father.
His son faithfully accompanied Murugan to go for dialysis in the General Hospital three times a week. While other teenagers in the neighbourhood were gallivanting with their friends, Murugan’s son sacrificed his time taking care of his father. As Murugan had difficulty walking due to the stroke, his son literally piggy-backed his father down from their low-cost flat to the taxi stand. Murugan’s son sacrificed his time, taking care of his father without complaining.
Murugan’s wife became the sole breadwinner, worked hard and doing her best to help the family to survive. They have no savings and sometimes there is no food on the table! Her monthly income is solely allocated for Murugan’s medical expenses, and is not enough to cover the house rental of RM125 per month. . . This is only one of the many ‘hidden’ life stories in our community.
How SHELTER lends a hand. . .
We made a visit to Murugan’s home in Setapak end of last year. The future may looks grim for this family, especially for his son whose schooling came to an abrupt end. We have encouraged him to opt for an apprenticeship job in the hope that he would b of greater financial assistance to his family.
As for the family, SHELTER has decided to provide Murugan’s family with monthly food provision. We have done so for the past three months. We get the opportunity to chat with the family, and hear of their daily struggles. We never fail to encourage Mr, Murugan to hope and believe that one day he may walk again as he diligently exercises. We also hope that one day his son would be in a position to look after the family. SHELTER believes in standing alongside with the community – to shape a better future for them.