62-year-old Junaidah Omarang, a grandmother staying at the Sri Stulang low-cost flats in Johor Baru, was pleasantly surprised when two blind strangers dropped by to visit her yesterday, carrying white canes in their hands.
The blind duo — Mohd Nor Saiful, 30, and Tan Chee Kiong, 47, along with Chee Kiong's son, Tan Hong Yu, 19, brought provisions to help Junaidah's family in their current desperate straits.
The visit came at a time when Junaidah was in desperate need of help to feed her 12 grandchildren after her three children lost their jobs due to pandemic-related layoffs.
"I'm struggling and these two men are blind who themselves need help to walk up to my flat to visit me. I'm so grateful to see them and thank them for bringing groceries to my home," Junaidah said after the visit by the blind pair, her voice cracking as emotion overwhelmed her. "It is nice of them to think of me and my family during this pandemic (and) it's so wonderful to know that the blind care for us when they themselves are in need of care,"
Following the visit to Junaidah's home, the duo also met Tan Guee Kwee, 60, and his son, Johnny, 22 at their one-room unit in Plentong. Guee Kwee's wife left him years ago when he met with an accident, which left him wheelchair-bound and unable to walk nor work. His son Johnny is jobless due to the pandemic, thus he is dependent on charitable people who drop by to provide groceries for him. He was grateful for the food provided by Nor Saiful and Chee Kiong, which consisted of rice, oil, sugar, noodles, eggs, sardines, milk, and Milo.
"I'm an OKU (disabled person) and I get to meet two OKUs who brought groceries for me. I will never forget this as today is a special day for me to meet two persons who can't see but had thought of me," said Guee Kwee, as his voice trailed off from the emotion of the moment.
Nor Saiful and Chee Kiong met at the World of Blind Association nearly a decade ago and struck up a friendship amidst their struggle with growing blindness. Chee Kiong was losing sight in both eyes due to glaucoma while Nor Saiful completely lost sight in one eye and had only 20 per cent vision in the other one following a brief illness in 2013.
"We may be blind but we can hear the cries of the people seeking help. We listen to the news and hear what people speak and say and we know what people are going through. We on our part can do just this little bit. We don't have a lot but we must give to people in greater need than us, especially in these times of great hardship for so many," said Nor Saiful who works as a sales assistant at Cold Storage.
Chee Kiong and Nor Saiful intend to continue with their charity drive as and when their resources permit, as the groceries are purchased with their own money.
Photo credit: NST