No Milk Today
Pi Bani, a blog sister, writes about her work with HIV patients. Hers is one of the most inspiring stories I have had the privilege of following.
In my book, she is indeed a wonderful, a selfless human being.
I was drawn to one particular posting about the hardship faced by two women, made worse by the delayed disbursement of their allowances by the welfare department.
This is not an unfamiliar tale. It has been told many times over, for God-knows how long.
These are the poor and the needy who depend on welfare staff members every month to give them their allowance.
I don't know whether the government servants handling welfare cases are indifferent or uncaring or both. Perhaps the delay in giving the money is genuine, due to problems beyond their control.
Whether or not it is, what is clear is the unkind treatment these people are getting from welfare staff.
One of the women had been waiting for news (of her application for allowance) that never came. The other - a mother of two - was to have received her allowance of RM115. That was on April 5. Let's hope by now, she would have already received the money.
Both were offered such shamelessly lame excuse by the welfare department staff.
The women need money to buy milk for their babies, and to live.
This is an excerpt of Pi Bani's posting, "More House Visits, More Welfare Woes":
"As expected, Yah too ran out of milk powder for her baby, so she had no choice but to buy
some using the RM160 she gets monthly courtesy of MAC.
I asked if there was any news from the Welfare Department as she had already submitted her
application personally in early January. Yah said since she did not receive any news from
them, she went to the welfare office again some time in February to follow up. Guess what??
she was told they never received her application. Oh dear… then what on earth was she doing
in their office in January? Paying them a courtesy visit?!
Yah had no choice but to submit a new application. I asked her for the name of the officer in
charge and promised her I’d try to follow up on the matter. I also promised her I’ll try to visit
her next weekend as I’ll be away elsewhere this weekend.
.... Fuzi’s application for welfare aid had already been approved (of RM115 a month) and she
had already received some money in February – handed over by hand.
The welfare officers then asked her to open up a bank account so that future financial aid
beginning March can be banked in direct. Bank account done in February, and account
number submitted to welfare department immediately.
But yesterday was already the 5th of April, and according to Fuzi she has gone to the bank to
check, but her financial aid for March was not in yet. Again, I promised Fuzi I’d try to follow
up on the matter."
Read the full story here.