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Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00

Love in Time of Distress

Written by  Kok Ling Lin, Malacca / Translated by Lee Hui Yieng

Volunteer Ong Lee Siew handed relief cash from Tzu Chi to Annuadyrany. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]

The whole family of Annuadyrany, an Indian single mother, sighed helplessly when they lost all their belongings in a fire. Fortunately, help came in time. She never expected herself to benefit from her usual kind deeds.


June 26, 2017, was the start of the Hari Raya holidays. The public were updated with the latest highway traffic conditions on various media, thereby enabling them to travel or return home smoothly and safely. On the pleasant afternoon, Tzu Chi volunteers received an abrupt news in their mobile chat group that two families were affected by a fire in Taman Tamby Chik Karim.

A few volunteers, including Ong Lee Siew, who cancelled her family plan for the holidays; Koh Chin Joo, Ruby Lim and husband, hurried to the fire scene to offer care and concern.

Nothing was left

Around 2 pm that day, Annuadyrany’s neighbour saw a fire breaking out on the first floor of her house. Thinking that Annuadyrany and family had gone for holidays at her daughter-in-law’s hometown, she quickly rushed to inform Annuadyrany’s brother, Jayachandrapprash, who lives in the same row of houses. To her surprise, she discovered that Annuadyrany and her daughter were actually at Jayachandrapprash’s house.

Annuadyrany is a single mother, whose husband passed away several years ago. She lives with her two sons, daughters-in-law, a daughter and a seven-month-old granddaughter. On that tragic day, only Annuadyrany and her daughter were around, while the rest had gone to visit their in-laws. Jayachandrapprash then offered them to stay over at his house so that they would not feel too lonely. This consequently saved them from being trapped in the fire.

When Annuadyrany ran home and opened the door of her burning house, she was overwhelmed by the thick smoke and had difficulty breathing, forcing her to leave the site. Everything was burnt down, and the clothes she was wearing were all she had left. She said slowly, “I couldn’t go in to save important documents, like marriage certificate, my late husband’s death certificate, clothes, and so on. Everything was gone.”

The firefighters had to break some roof tiles of the burning house to stop the fire from spreading to the house of the neighbour, Rina. At 2.45 pm, the fire was finally brought under control. Initial investigation indicated the power extension cord might have been the source of fire.

When a State Assemblyman learnt from Chin Joo that transportation was needed to transport some used mattresses and clothes from a Tzu Chi recycling centre, he volunteered to help send the items to the affected families. Chin Joo, on the other hand, used his motorcycle to carry two clean pillows, blankets and some clothes to Annuadyrany, for immediate relief.

At 5.30 am the following day, a neighbour noticed that the first floor caught fire again, and immediately contacted the Fire Department. Thankfully, there was no further damage.

Timely aid warmed the hearts

On June 27 evening, volunteers presented relief cash, eco-blankets and bamboo banks to Annuadyrany and Rina. At the same time, they explained where the cash aid came from, that the eco-blankets were made from recycled PET bottles, and that small amounts of money saved in the bamboo banks daily can go a long way to accomplish great kindness. Annuadyrany, who is a Tzu Chi monthly donor, was in tears when she received the relief cash. She did not expect that she would one day benefit from her monthly donation.

With the school holidays coming to an end, Annuadyrany had thought of using the cash aid from Tzu Chi to buy her 11-year-old daughter’s school uniforms and books, which were destroyed in the fire. However, at his suggestion, volunteer Lin Jin Xing personally brought Annuadyrany and her daughter to the second-hand goods section at Tzu Chi recycling centre to look for used school uniforms, books, stationeries, clothes, and other items that they might need.

Thanks to volunteers’ care, Annuadyrany felt loved during her time of need. The volunteers also wished that she could rebuild her house and start a new life soon.

 

 

The fire that broke out at Taman Tamby Chik Karim, Malacca, affected two families. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]   Volunteers Koh Chin Joo (middle), Ong Lee Siew and Lin Jin Xing extended their care to Annuadyrany’s family, and explained to them the origin of eco-blankets. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]

The fire that broke out at Taman Tamby Chik Karim, Malacca, affected two families. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
Volunteers Koh Chin Joo (middle), Ong Lee Siew and Lin Jin Xing extended their care to Annuadyrany’s family, and explained to them the origin of eco-blankets. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
Annuadyrany and her family looked for suitable clothes at the second-hand goods section, in the company of volunteers. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]   Annuadyrany trying to get her daughter a pair of shoes that fits her at the second-hand goods section. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]

Annuadyrany and her family looked for suitable clothes at the second-hand goods section, in the company of volunteers. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
 
Annuadyrany trying to get her daughter a pair of shoes that fits her at the second-hand goods section. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]