Thursday, November 13, 1997
Generosity Which Helps Disabled Cope
By Elaine Jeyakumar
Ipoh, Wed - The generosity and caring nature of News Straits Times readers
have given a new lease of life to any people who have benefited from
donations over the years.
From funds pouring in from the public, many needyc who are handicapped
have been given a ray of hope.
Donations come in from all walks of life, from the simple man on the
street to the more prominent in society, from hawkers to contractors
who walk in with RM12,000 worth of savings in cash.
These donations to the NST are used to help the disabled who have financial
problems, purchasing equipment, which will make their everyday lives
a little easier to lead.
Thanks to these open and giving hearts, people like six-year-old Gunalan
Arumugam and Nohayati Zulkifli have the chance of living normal lives.
Under the umbrella of the Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah, foundation in Ipoh,
Gunalan and Horhayati are only two of the many people who have reaped
the generosity of NST readers.
Gunalan is the second of three children of Malakodi Letchumanan whose
husband is a hospital attendant at Hospital Bahagia.
Born with cerebral palsy, he lacks the balance a normal child develops
and has to learn to walk as with a special walker which costs around
Norhayati was born with a congenital defect - her left leg did not grow
out and is stumped below the knee.
She has been wearing an artificial limb for the past five years, prior
to which she used to hop around on one leg.
The Standard Five pupil, who cycles to school in Parit daily, needs
a new prosthesis yearly as she grows and hence would need long-term
sponsorship. The one she currently uses was purchased with funds donated
by NST readers.
Kok Chin Seong, 30, was the recipient of a motorbike with a sidecar
which he uses to travel to night markets to sell Big Sweeps tickets
while knee amputee Arunalan Munusamy, 45, now has an artificial leg
to help him walk.
Both are married and have families to support.
Wheelchairs, motorbikes with sidecars, crutches and calipers are some
of the equipment, which have been presented to the foundation's clients.
The cost of the equipment can range from RM600 to RM5,000.
These equipment, help the people with disabilities to lead normal lives
giving them a sense of independence and usefulness.
The NST has to date, purchased equipment for 45 people under the Yayasan
in the past two years, from funds donated by the public.
Besides the Yayasan, these donations have helped many others from various
organisations and establishments.
The NST and the people who have received help thank readers for their
generosity and kindheartedness.