Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Helping the blind to earn a good income

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 |

New Straits Times, Malysia

Helping the blind to earn a good income
— Mat Taib Samad

CAPTION: Umar Husin giving foot reflexology massage to a customer at the Siti Khadijah market in
Kota Baru.

KOTA BARU: For many blind and the poor people, earning a living means begging in the streets.

Not if the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) can do anything about it though.

Since early this week, two blind men have been studying foot reflexology sponsored by the council,
to help them earn a living and get them off the streets.

Both men, 60-year-old Umar Husin and Mat Taib Samad, 59, have started business on the first floor of
the famous Siti Khadijah market here.

MPKB Islamic Development director Ropien Hasan said the programme was part of an effort to reduce
the number of beggars in the state capital by encouraging them to work for a living.

"The training for the two men is just a start. We plan to train more people and open up other places
for them to practise their trade," he said.

Umar, who used to sell packets of tissue paper at the market, said he was grateful to MPKB and
trainer Wan Muhammad Wan Ibrahim for giving him the opportunity to learn the skill.

"I have been trained in body massage and still have a practice in my home at Kampung Larat in

"But the income fluctuates because it depends on how much my customers pay. Here, we have a fixed

"We charge RM25 for a 45- minute massage," said the father of six.

Mat Taib, of Kg Berangan in Tumpat, said response had been good.

On average, they get two to three customers a day, with more business on weekends.

"I made the right decision when I opted to join the programme.

"Although we were not paid during the one-week training, it has been worthwhile so far.

"Many others declined, but I guess they will want to join once they hear we are earning a better

"I think once people know about our services, business will pick up."



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fredric said...

This is very moving. I hope to help the blind too in our community. IN fact, I am organizing a team which will be in charged with a fund raising activity. Thanks for the heads up too!

Freedom & Good Income

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