Saturday, 5th August 2017 is indeed a busy day for Nalani, Lai Yoong and I. We visited 19 addresses of needy and underprivileged Indian families that were recommended to us. After our observations and interviews, we agreed on 17 to receive the Project MADE Deepavali packs.
Eleven of those selected were workers at the Sungai Wangi estate. Their take home pay is about RM700 after deducting utilities, SOCSO and EPF. They all live at the estate quarters. There was also one 72 year old lady who had no relatives and was being looked after by her neighbours. One of the estate workers has a 23 year old bedridden son. Another of her sons passed away from an illness. Her neighbour a few doors away has a mentally challenged son. She is a single mother. Another lady's husband was bedridden as a result of a stroke.
A few of the elderly workers had grown up children who were married and were working but they too were also too poor to support their parents as they are also menial workers.
The other 6 families selected were from the Sitiawan and Lumut area. A few of the families were actually doing fine a few months ago but fell on hard times because of illness, retrenchment or accidents. That is why their homes looked okay when we visited. They also own cars (old models). Their inability to work because of their situation has caused their savings to dwindle and they are left with unpaid bills and debts. A few of the houses had the water supply cut and they owe a few hundred ringgit for their electric bills. They do not own the houses that they live in.