THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)
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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Desperate for help

The last time I went to visit Aini at the hospital last month, I was told she’d be staying at her elderly parent’s home once she’s discharged from the hospital.

True enough, she did. At least if anything happened to her, there’d be someone at home. The least the parents can do will be to call someone for help.

That solved one problem. But another problem surfaced.

Aini submitted her application to the welfare department to continue getting monthly welfare aid. This time however, when told that she’d be staying with her elderly parents, she was told to include the household income including her parent’s income, if any. So she included the monthly pension her father is getting, which is slightly more than the ceiling income to qualify for welfare aid. And so her application was rejected.

With her inability to work, and EPF all finished up to settle some previous loans after her husband died, Aini has no more income to support herself. For the past few years she had been depending on the monthly welfare aid. Although she didn’t get much, she made do with what she had. Her eldest daughter is studying at a polytechnic, her second son is waiting for her SPM results, while her youngest is in form 3. None of them are working yet and still very much dependent on her. Only the youngest son’s schooling expenses are covered under our Education Sponsorship Program.

While her father may be able to feed them at home, Aini needs more than just food and shelter. She is getting weak and even has problem walking. Due to her condition, she needs supply of adult diapers. In addition to that, she has to go to the hospital quite often for her appointments. So she definitely needs money and can’t rely on her father’s pension.

Desperate, Aini decided to call me to seek my help. She’s usually quite embarrassed to ask for my help unless she’s really out of options. Obviously she was really desperate. I told her to try Baitulmal instead. She said she’d get her daughter (who was at home for the CNY holidays) to get the necessary done.

Meanwhile I started asking around for help, and thank goodness, a few responded. From the amount received so far, I’ve already given her some immediate relief. The balance, together with more funds expected to come in, will be given to her on a monthly basis so that she’d have at least some money every month to buy her needs. At least her father wouldn’t be too financially burdened.

I do hope things will get better soon. I know for a fact she is really unable to work, not just making excuses like some people I know. She really deserves all the help she can get.