Blind sisters sell craft items for a living

VISUAL impairment fails to deter three siblings in Perlis from living independently by selling handmade craft and kekabu pillows.

The three sisters, who have lived in the same house since childhood, are Halijah Ibrahim, 80, who is affectionately known as Mak Andak, Che Manai (Makcik), 74, and Che Zainah (Maksu), 69.

They admit being happy living together, doing all the housework and earning a living.

Mak Andak does the cooking, Makcik cleans the house and Maksu goes out to sell the handmade craft.

“This is our daily routine, ” Che Zainah said.

The sisters were met by reporters after receiving donations from Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) in Kampung Titi Besi in Arau, Perlis.

Che Zainah said the sisters complemented each other’s lives and managed well despite their shortcomings.

She is often assisted by her two sisters in weaving rattan to make various items like handbags and food covers and they all help each other in their daily chores.

She said Halijah would always make sure they eat what she cooks before she goes out to sell the handmade items at the farmers’ market.

“Halijah loves to cook soup and curry. Our favourite dish is ‘Nyok-nyok’ fish curry, ” she said.

Elaborating further, Che Zainah said Che Manai helped her to arrange the items to be taken for sale besides always keeping the house clean and orderly.

She said as long as they have good health, they will continue to make a living by selling craft items which they learned to make in their childhood.

The sisters are currently short on rattan obtained from Penang and hence took the initiative to produce kekabu pillows, the raw material of which is easily available in the villages in Perlis.

Woven rattan items are sold at farmers’ markets around Perlis at about RM60 to RM80 while the pillows are sold at RM25 to RM35 depending on the size, she said, adding that they also have their own kiosk in Pauh to place their handmade craft.

Meanwhile, Yadim chief

executive officer Tuan Kamarul Arief Tuan Soh said that under the Yadim Peduli programme, they would continue to present contributions to groups in need.

“We are targeting 150 hardcore poor people and are planning to repair five houses belonging to them in the near future, ” he said.

He expressed his admiration for the tenacity of the three blind siblings to continue living normally like other people.

He hoped the Yadim Peduli programme could ease their burden. — Bernama

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