NST, National
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 RM600.

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.