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Recently, negative news has been hitting the headlines.
So, especially since it’s the month of Ramadan, let’s flip the script and share some touching stories in Singapore that put a smile on our faces.
Republic Polytechnic students help an uncle who fell crossing the street
There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing people helping others in need without a second thought.
On Apr 22, some Republic Polytechnic students were leaving their school in Woodlands when they spotted an elderly cardboard collector whose trolley had overturned as he was crossing the road.
The youths immediately stopped to help the uncle to pick up the fallen pieces.
Their actions were recorded by a fellow student, Amala, who was passing by and posted it as a story on her Instagram.
When The Pride asked what the reactions were to her video, she said many shared how they were touched by the heartwarming actions of the RP students.
“We need more kind acts, especially in today’s society,” said the 20-year-old.
In the video that she sent to The Pride, we saw that the students didn’t just stop at helping the uncle pick up the fallen cardboard, they also pushed the trolley across the road.
It is a small gesture but the instinctive nature in which they helped the elderly man is an encouraging sign for our younger generation.
To these anonymous RP students who stepped up to help a person in need, thank you for making the society a better place.
Singaporeans raise $265,000 for rider hurt in Gambas Avenue accident
In tragedy, there are also silver linings of goodness.
Alif Widjava is a 20-year-old nurse who was involved in a motorcycle accident on Apr 10 along Gambas Avenue a day after his birthday.
Alif was hurt by a motorcycle driven by 24-year-old delivery rider Jason Tan, who hit him after allegedly trying to avoid a van that was changing lanes.
Jason died at the scene and the van driver was arrested for careless driving causing death.
Even as he was struggling with serious injuries — internal bleeding, a crushed pelvis, broken ribs, a broken wrist and lacerations, Alif still tried to help at the scene.
His mother Sarah took to Facebook to express her concern about Alif’s injuries and as word got out that he needed help, the donations came pouring in.
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The fundraising campaign created by Sarah raised $104,000 in just one day, exceeding its target of $100,000. More than $265,000 have been raised so far, showing society’s willingness to help a brave young man.
Sarah posted an update in which she thanked everyone profusely.
She said: “We greatly appreciate all your kind generosity. Alif… was in tears when he saw we surpassed the 100k target in less than 24 hours. He said it’s such a huge burden lifted off his shoulders as he is so worried about us having to carry this load.
“Our family is still in shock to know there are so many generous people around. It may not be easy for him as it’s a long road ahead till he recovers but please do keep him in your prayers. Only God can repay all your kindness. Once again, on behalf of Alif and our whole family we humbly want to express our appreciation. Thank you so much.”
Passers-by help lost grandma with dementia
Recently, the internet was buzzing about this photo of a grandmother at a hawker centre.
Melvin Chew posted on a Facebook group Hawkers United – Dabao 2020 about how he met an elderly woman with dementia at a hawker centre and how he managed to get passers-by and hawkers to help her find her way home.
According to Melvin, this grandma used to run a hawker stall together with her husband. When she was diagnosed with dementia, her husband had to quit to take care of her.
In subsequent replies to other users, Melvin explained that she was looking for the stall she used to run with her husband. What made this story so meaningful was how people around her made sure that she got home safe — even managing to contact her husband.
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Facebook user Albert Teo wrote: “Thank you for reminding us of this good deed cause everyone of us will pass by this path sooner or later let be helpful and caring towards one another irregardless of race, language or religion.”
Another user, Grace Yow, wrote: “I am very familiar with what this auntie faced. My late mum had dementia as well but she insisted on being very independent and goes for walks on her own, and at times doesn’t remember how to come home. Fortunately, she’d met kind hearted souls whom called me (thru the contact # I printed and kept in my mum’s key wallet) when she’s lost. I am thankful we have such kind folks around.”
Such anecdotes show how easy it can be to help others in need and how such simple gestures can mean so much, and encourage so many through the power of social media.
Devoted dad taking care of adult daughter with special needs
A recent video of a Singaporean father talking about taking care of his adult daughter who has special needs captured the heart of Singaporeans.
In the six-minute video posted on Apr 21, 62-year-old Ng Chye Hock shared his journey as a working dad while taking care of his mentally disabled 30-year-old daughter.
The delivery driver and part-time house mover talked about his daily care routine for his daughter, which includes bathing, feeding and even bringing his daughter to work with him.
His daughter also has epilepsy, which causes her to be unable to do simple tasks by herself. Previously, his wife was his daughter’s main caregiver, but when she was recently hospitalised due to Covid, he had to step in to care for their daughter.
He talked about how he almost broke down when his wife, an organ transplant recipient, told him that she was giving up on life at her lowest point.
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Thankfully, his wife recovered and is back at home, with a helper provided by the Ministry of Manpower to care for her and their daughter.
One user, Teddy Zee, commented: “Uncle, you are a really great dad… there are many parents out there who won’t even fulfil their responsibilities for able bodied children.”
The clip was viewed more than 1 million times and received over 56,000 likes.
Tzu Chi Singapore, which shot the short documentary, and where Mr Ng has been volunteering for the past 20 years, is helping him with his daughter.
Mr Ng even posted a follow up video thanking everyone for their kind words and offers for help. He said that he couldn’t reply individually to the thousands of messages but was very moved by it.
One message that touched him the most was from a netizen who didn’t offer a cash donation but instead asked if he could hire him as a delivery driver and pay him more for each trip. Mr Ng rejected the kind offer and other offers to help and instead encouraged people to donate to organisations to help others more in need.
He said: “I am still physically abled, I can still depend on myself for a living… thank you for all your kindness… in this society, especially around you, there may be many people who need help, you just don’t notice them… We want to be a person who helps others.”
Ramadan bazaars are back!
After two years, the Ramadan bazaars are back. And they are back with a bang.
With the recently eased restrictions, we see more and more people going out to these bazaars (and in general!) and spending time with their loved ones.
It feels truly festive again, knowing that every week a new bazaar will be opening at every corner in Singapore.
The Pride caught up with some visitors to the bazaar at Woodlands and got their reactions about returning after two years.
Aung Nyi Htet, 19, a student tells the Pride, “I’m happy for my Muslim friends who are finally able to experience the bazaar again during Ramadan. I know how important this month is to them and it was heartwarming to see our society going back to normal.”
What is a bazaar without the famous Ramly burger?
I had the chance to chat to a bazaar worker who was cooking this ubiquitous comfort food. Looking at the long queues of people waiting for him to finish grilling the juicy burgers I had to make it quick.
He said in Malay with a twinkle in his eyes: “Dah macam dulu vibe dia. (It feels like old times)”.
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Experiencing the laughter, smiles and buzz at these bazaars reminded me how important it is to have positivity in our lives.
Hopefully these heartwarming moments and touching stories in Singapore will remind you too, to always look for ways to do good in everything we do.