Elderly Cleaner is Happy with Life but Thanks Stranger for Helping him with Grants

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Uncle Ming is 82 years old and works as a cleaner. He is no longer as mobile as before and would go around cleaning tables while holding a walking stick. A woman who was nearby had seen him and approached him to ask if he needed help.

Apparently, Uncle Ming “gets paid $1300 per month as a cleaner. He has a wife who suffered from kidney problems and has to undergo kidney dialysis weekly. He takes a taxi to and from work everyday, which costs around $300 a month. He can’t ride a motorbike anymore due to mobility restrictions and poor vision”. He has no children.

After listening to his story, the woman looked up for existing government schemes which he may qualify for and even helped to apply for him. Thanks to her effort, he may soon receive monthly aid and support from the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

When asked if he needed anything else, Uncle Ming said that he is contented with what he has. To many of us, he may not have an easy life but he remains optimistic and grateful.

Surely, his job is by no means a sensational one, but his inner fire and resilience is what makes him extraordinary. Today, Uncle Ming taught me about gratitude, contentment, and resilience. He wants to lead a dignified life and fend for himself, instead of relying purely on aid.

The woman has learned a lot from Uncle Ming and urged people to lend a helping hand if they come across anyone who may need it. However, she hopes that we can do so in proper and sustainable ways.

“There are many available grants that many of them might not be aware of. We can help by simply applying for them and have the relevant agencies reach out to them.

We also need to recognise that for some folks, working is a choice. There are many people who reject support or any form of assistance. [So] before we comment, let’s get the full picture”.

Pardon me for being a little too emotional when I saw an elderly man with a walking stick, holding onto a wet cloth, and…

Posted by Lee Siew Yian on Tuesday, 6 October 2020

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