A grandmother of 13 children in Kulim, Kedah, is facing eviction from her home after failing to pay six months' rental.
"I am having sleepless nights as I fear the houseowner will force us to vacate the house.
"I have been looking for a suitable house for the last five months, and I could not find one as most people proposed flats, which is not conducive for the children," The Vibes quoted M Selvamalar, 51, as saying.
Hardship had forced Selvamalar to fall back on six months of rental for their house in Kg Belakang SK Panglima. To compound the matter, the house owner had also disconnected the electricity and water supply to the house, to force the family out.
Last month, Selvamalar decided to fly a white flag to seek assistance.
It has been one tragedy after another for the woman, after she lost her job as a runner at a law firm last year. Last May, her husband succumbed to an illness, and two months ago, Selvamalar got involved in a motorcycle accident, which resulted in injuries to her legs.
She has been surviving on a RM750 monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department, but RM400 out of the amount goes towards rental for the house.
A slew of unfortunate events in the last few years had also left 12 of her grandchildren, aged between two and 17, under her care.
Despite the hardships faced, Selvamalar is also not willing to leave the children under foster care. She reportedly wants to take over her late husband's job of collecting recyclable items to sustain her living.
Meanwhile, social activists and an MP, who have helped the family since their plight came to light, are of the opinion that the children should be sent to a children's home.
Activist S Neelamekan told The Vibes that this is to ensure that the children's education, welfare and food needs are provided for.
"The grandchildren will soon enter adolescence, where they will have to face new challenges.
"Their present house and environment will not help them to come out from the slump mentality," he told the portal, adding that earnings from recycled items can only sustain so much.
Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah concurred, saying that he has witnessed children from neglected families slip into immoral activities and drug use if their socio-economic and educational needs are managed properly.
Padang Serai MP M Karuppiah voiced similar remarks, saying that Selvamalar should think about a permanent solution for the benefit of her grandchildren, instead of not wanting to be separated from them.
Source & Photo source: The Vibes
Fri Aug 06 2021
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