Md Rozi Darus was only seven years old when he lost a leg in a motorcycle accident.
It happened along a dusty kampung road near Sik, Kedah, and there was nothing he could do to avoid it.
Md Rozi, now 51, recalled the screeching of the motorcycle tyres and his screams of pain that fateful day.
“Sometimes that’s just your lot in life,” he said.
Not one to give up or wallow in self pity, he learned to move around using a cane in his younger years.
Despite his limited mobility, he continued to provide for his family of six by cultivating a small farm in Kedah.
Over the last decade, he has been using a wheelchair.
“It comes in handy as I perform odd jobs in my kampung when I’m not tending to my chickens and ducks,” he explained.
With frequent use and wear-and-tear over the years, Md Rozi realised that he needed a new wheelchair but did not have the means to get one.
However, he soon found out that a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Sosio Ekonomi Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) Daerah Sik, Kedah, would be able to help him through Star Foundation’s Wheelchair Programme.
“When I found out I was getting a wheelchair from Star Foundation, I was happy and thankful that a company like the Star Media Group Bhd was helping less fortunate people like me,” he said.
The foundation recently gave out 16 wheelchairs, through the NGO, to those in need of mobility support.
The NGO’s secretary Md Amin Salleh said that while it offered financial assistance and food aid, it could not provide wheelchairs as they were expensive.
“We do our best to provide the disabled with tools to improve their mobility.
“For most of them, it’s about making their daily lives easier.
“There are those who use wheelchairs only in their home because it’s rather dangerous to use a cane since they can slip and fall because of the cement floor,” he said.
“We try to provide our beneficiaries with wheelchairs but we can only afford to purchase a few.
“Since some of our recipients use a wheelchair on a daily basis, it tends to wear out faster.
“So I’m glad Star Foundation is donating this essential equipment to improve their quality of life,” said Md Amin.
Another recipient, Ibrahim Ahmad, 62, said he was equally pleased upon hearing that he would be receiving “a new set of wheels”.
For both Ibrahim and Md Rozi, the wheelchair offers freedom of movement.
“For us to be independent, mobility plays a big role,” added Ibrahim.
Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group aimed at delivering meaningful initiatives with lasting outcomes to a diverse group of beneficiaries.
For more details, visit starfoundation.com.my.