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Lady in Dire Straits

“We depend on the rain for our water supply. During dry spells, water is sourced from the highly contaminated river that flows through the industrial park behind my house,” said Nurul Huda, 32, when met recently.

The single mother lives in an abandoned termite-infested hut at the rear of the Yeo Hiap Seng factory in Jelapang, Ipoh. Her three children, one who is gravely ill, live with her.

“Ever since my husband left me, I’ve been attending to my children’s needs single-handedly. I’ve no other options but to strike out on my own for my kids’ sake,” she told Ipoh Echo.

Nurul Huda suffers from a thyroid disease which affects the left side of her neck for the past two years. She has to delay a needed operation, as there is no one to care for her children. The youngest, Nur Ain, 2, is being diagnosed with hydrocephalus (excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the head). She suffers from this condition since birth.

Nurul Huda’s thyroid problem is getting worse by the day but she gets on with life in spite of the discomfort and the pain. “I’ve to leave Nur Ain alone every morning while I send my two other kids, Saiful Amin, 9, and Mohd Amirul, 6, to their school in Silibin which is about 4km away.

“My daughter’s condition worries me all the time. Each time she wakes up from her sleep, she tends to fall and hit her head on the floor. The pressure in her head makes her dizzy.

“I depend solely on the monthly stipend given by the Perak Social Welfare Department. The RM300 is grossly insufficient for my family’s needs but what choice do I have? I divide the money equally for my children’s education and our daily necessities. I’m unable to pay my electric bill for many months already. The accumulated bill amounted to RM1155.40, as of now,” she said forlornly.

The gritty woman seeks assistance from well-meaning Ipohites to help lighten her burden. She hopes to own a house, as she has been squatting on government land all this while. She fears being evicted anytime, as the authorities have already warned her.

“We can only afford one simple meal a day, as money is tight. My main fear, however, is my family’s safety. My house is surrounded by a secondary jungle which restricts visibility, especially at night. The wooded area attracts drug addicts who come for their fix at odd hours of the day. They may harm us if we’re not careful,” she lamented.

Readers wishing to lend a helping hand can contribute in kind via Nurul’s bank. Details are as follows:

Saving account number: BSN 0800741100000311 in favour of Nurul Huda bt Abdul Malik / Nurain bt Rosdi.

Rosli Mansor

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