Thursday, December 19, 2013
Volunteer takes time to advise the disabled on how to fend for themselves
Published: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
FARAH FAZANNA ZULZAHA
PHOTOS BY ONG SOON HIN
Good Samaritan: Paidy says he helps the members get in and out of vehicles, takes them to washrooms and distributes food.
CONCERN over the plight of people in need prompted M. Payadathalle to offer help.
The chief agency manager of an insurance company has been volunteering with the Damai Disabled Person Association Malaysia (Damai) for 15 years.
He said that as an able bodied person, he saw the need to help out others who were not as fortunate.
“I try to help however I can,” said Payadathalle, who is better known as Paidy among Damai members.
He cited helping a disabled person go to the washroom at an event organised by the NGO as a way for the able bodied to assist.
“The door is too narrow for a wheelchair to access. So I had to carry him to sit on the toilet seat,” he said.
The father of three sons treats Damai members like his own family.
“The disabled should not stay at home.
“They should be encouraged to go out and be independent. Damai is one of the places they can learn how to support themselves,” said Paidy.
He added that more business organisations should open job opportunities to the disabled.
“Society should stop looking at the disabled as a burden. Given the opportunity, they can do well,” he said.
Paidy spends several hours a week at the centre by talking and motivating the members and is a key person whenever the NGO organises an event.
“I help the members get in and out of the vehicle, take them to the washroom and help distribute food.”
He also helps take members to the bank or whenever they need to run errands.
People with disabilities need someone they can talk to and feel comfortable with. “Sometimes when I do not have time to visit them, they will call me to say hi,” he said.
Skill that matters: The Damai Training Centre provides computer classes so that its members can gain skills that can help them seek employment.
Paidy added that more people should find ways to help the disabled in whatever way they can.
“Imagine if you were in their shoes and need constant help. Wouldn’t you feel frustrated?” he asked.
He urged the public, especially youth, to volunteer at NGOs as spending time to help others would make them value life.
“It makes my day whenever I can bring a smile to them,” said Paidy.
He dreams of setting up a home for the disabled with enough space for them to conduct outdoor activities.
Damai was established in 1998 and founded by two disabled persons, V. Murugeswaran and M. Manoharan, with the objective of helping the disabled become independent.
Damai Training Centre provides computer classes, wheelchair workshops besides helping its members gain employment.
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