Seeds of Destiny II

26 December 2014

Vicneswary Rengan: Steely determination to raise her children

Picture Mentari low cost flats, built in PJS 5 Taman Desaria, right next to the houses that were there earlier. There was no consideration for the required open space; everything is crammed into a small area. Residents report a spike in crime and accidents after the flats came up.

Enter a world where bare essentials and desperation collide. Meet house cleaner Vicneswary 42, her story unfolds against a backdrop of marital setbacks, recurring illness and steely determination to singlehandedly raise her three sons. Unlike prime time TV, this plot is a saga unseen.

Local news report about 26 motorcycles and a taxi being torched in the wee hours at Desa Mentari flats. At another Indian poor neighbourhood at Seri Semarak PPR flats in Setapak, 13 motorcyles were burnt recently. Ground zero pictures show unequal opportunities and unequal upward mobility.

Flat resident, Balakrishnan 57, blames urban poverty. “Unaddressed social ills that are due to urban poverty could become severe problems, in contrast to rural poverty. Households make RM450 a month. When they fall behind on their house payments, their families suffer, especially their children."

Malarvilli Velusamy(standing –r): Looks at the bigger picture

Target cameras at Bidariu Kelompak flats. School security officer and single mother Malalarvilli 40, speaks about her wish to give daughters Roshini Valarmathi 12, and Roshini 11, a better future through Shelter Home. At the time of writing she is scheduled to meet Cheok Hoong Poh, SHELTER’s General Manager.

Enadiam Susai and daughter, Ruth (r-l): No regrets

What difference does the picture make? Enadiam Susai 62, of Lembah Subang low cost flats states, “Though I am a widower, I have no regrets in adopting Ruth. “It has brought so much joy in my life even though the challenges were at times beyond our control.” Enadiam’s picture is one of giving out of little.

Look again at the pictures: Three families at the heart of suburban poverty. What we see depends mainly on what we look for. We begin to learn when we're willing to see the world from other person’s perspective. “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Capture the big picture, make a difference this year.
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