Volunteers to the Fore

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The plight of three Indian families would have gone unnoticed had it not been for a chance encounter by volunteers of Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU). The volunteers, led by Palaya Periasamy, found these unfortunate souls living in a rented house in Taman Che Wan, Ipoh. They have been living under a single roof for the last six months and are bereft of basic necessities for a decent living. Their pitiful conditions according to unit chief, Elango Vadiveloo, are attributable to the family heads not having proper jobs and documentation. They are among the many stateless citizens of Perak, who, due to no fault of theirs, have to suffer the ignominy of being treated as outcasts in their own country of domicile.  “I immediately alerted YBU of their problem,” said Elango to Ipoh Echo.

YBU volunteer

In the days ahead Yayasan Bina Upaya will, with the assistance of the National Registration Department, document those from among the three families who are without papers. Four of the children do not have birth certificates while three adults, including two of the fathers, are without identity cards. The men,

Sarathrajan Raman, 29, and Murugan Ratnam, 33, are odd-job workers without a steady income. YBU has agreed to foot all bills incurred in processing applications for birth certificates and identity

Elango Vadiveloo

cards.

Another beneficiary, Rathiga Ratnam, 33, will be awarded micro-credit facility worth RM5,000 to help her start a small business. Rathiga is in dire straits as her husband is temporarily indisposed due to illness.

The mother of two was visibly moved by the gesture. “This is totally unexpected,” she remarked. “I wish to thank the state government, especially YBU, for answering my prayers.”

Rathiga Raman

Yayasan Bina Upaya will endeavour to help those living on the fringes of society, regardless of their ethnicity and beliefs, to be on their feet again. Its volunteers are constantly on the look out for them.

RM