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Opinion

Thursday, 7 December 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Unsung heroes in our midst

I REFER to two recent news items in your newspaper. These stories touched on the selfless and heroic service of a newly married volunteer fireman who left his wedding dinner immediately afterwards to help rescue flood victims in Penang. He was aided in this noble quest by an equally understanding wife.

You also highlighted the continuing service of a distinguished doctor who chose not to rest on his laurels but to keep serving the community as the vice-chairman of a hospice in Penang. This doctor is truly an inspiration to all because even at age 93, he is still committed to serving a worthy cause.

These are truly amazing examples of individuals who readily put service before self in their continuing quest to serve the larger interest of the community.

I am also aware of the fine service being offered in the Klang Valley by at least two NGOs. These organisations have mobility vans fitted with hydraulic ramps and offer to ferry sick or handicapped individuals to hospitals for regular dialysis treatments, acupuncture sessions and other such appointments with doctors.

These NGOs are able to carry out the useful service because of generous private and corporate donors. One NGO charges a small fee for the service while the other offers it on a gratis basis.

Likewise, a number of like-minded and caring organisations in and around the Klang Valley offer free lunches on a weekly basis for the needy. This is a big welcome, especially for those who find it very costly living in the city.

Some groups also cater to the needs of migrants by helping them cope in a new country and adapt as best as they can. The volunteers meet with these migrants on a regular basis, listen to their concerns and try to help them adjust to their lives in a foreign land.

Another instance of a critical need being addressed is the attention paid to the lonely, desperate and depressed. Ironically, living in busy big cities, such individuals can often feel abandoned and forgotten. As such, the 24-hour telephone counselling service available for these people are a lifeline.

These are just a few examples to illustrate that there are indeed angels in our midst, if only we care to look around and discover them.

While career and family commitments may sometimes make us forget about the less fortunate, there are thankfully concerned individuals and NGOs who are making a huge difference in our society.

The beauty of all this selfless service is that the practitioners do so simply because of their conviction and principles, without the publicity and fanfare prevalent in many other cases.

Here’s wishing more such deserving people who serve others be unearthed and given due recognition.

BENEDICT MORAIS

Petaling Jaya