I saw this old lady among the busy lunch crowd around harbour front today. She was approaching each passerby, looking desperate, trying to grab hold of their hands.. I walked towards the old lady and realised she was holding a box of pens, trying to sell each one at 3.50.
I asked her where’s she from and if she need any assistance.. She just shook her head and mumbling that she is selling pens and no one is buying. Trying to probe further but no further response, I bought a pen and passed her $10. And from a distance I observed the crowd.. Many just shrugged her off.. Some paused for a moment, glanced at her and moved on.
I don’t know her story but her helpless eyes were telling me that she was not there just to earn some extra bucks or as her hobby..
Maybe our government does not have power and reach to help those that fall through the cracks despite all the grassroots effort.. and maybe our government does not have the political will to provide a safety net to the old and vulnerable…
So it will be up to us Singaporean to take action.
If you see the old lady somewhere among the office crowd, pause for a moment, reach out to her and buy a pen from her. It’s really a good pen.
Update: After I posted this on Facebook, my dear friend Roy reminded me that COMCARE can help. So if you see her on the street, you may want to call 1800 222 0000.