KLANG: Kind hearts have sprouted from Penang to Kuantan to offer a helping hand to those in need during this tough time.
When a university lecturer friend told her there were students stranded in a public university campus that were in need of food, M. Shyam Priah’s heart went out to the youngsters.
The 15 students, from the university’s Medical and Health Science faculty, were in a fix because they were not allowed to cook on campus.
Their plight was highlighted to Shyam Priah on Jan 26, and she later found out that they could not leave the campus or go home due to the movement control order.
“They had ordered their meals through Foodpanda and eventually ran out of money, ” she said.
So Shyam Priah sought out her friends and with their help, managed to buy necessities for the students to fix themselves light meals such as instant noodles and sandwiches.
She also cooked and delivered proper meals whenever she was able to.
“So far, I have cooked meals such as fried tilapia with sambal belacan, cucumber and lettuce, fried instant noodles as well as rice with dhall curry and a chicken dish, ” she said.
Shyam Priah, who lives in Ampang, also called the students to ask if they needed other things such as sanitary napkins or hot beverages.
One of her beneficiaries, Fatin Humaira’ Mohd Naim, 23, a Health Science final year student, said they were caught in a predicament when the MCO was implemented.
“We chose to remain on campus because we do not have Internet access or computers at home.
“Since we are not allowed to go out of the campus and the college canteen is closed, we had no choice but to buy food through Foodpanda – which exhausted our finances, ” she said.
Of Shyam Priah’s cooking, Fatin Humaira’ said the food was not only delicious but also nutritious as it included both cooked and raw food components.
In another part of Selangor, realising the difficulties B40 families were going through, retired university lecturer Datin Seri Juridah Atin and her businessman husband Datuk Seri Maslan Urmin felt they had to do something.
“Initially my husband said we could buy groceries and put them at the surau for people to take, but we finally decided to put it outside our home so that more people would have access to it, ” said Juridah who lives at Section 19, Shah Alam.
Among the items placed outside their home were rice, flour, sugar, milk, eggs, canned mackerel, instant noodles, biscuits, and cooking oil.
Juridah said initially no one took anything but soon after, some contract cleaners around the area helped themselves to some groceries.
“The demand picked up following information being spread on social media, and more people came and some 200 sets of groceries were taken by the needy.
In Kuantan, cafe owners had allocated a space in front of their eatery to place necessities for those in need of them, reported Bernama.
Ahmad Dainey Zainuddin, 37, and his business partner, Md Syukri Maskur, 38, whose cafe is at Jalan Besar, started the initiative with RM200.
“If they are not desperate, they would not come here. Some ride motorcycles as far as 10km with small children in rainy weather.
“Some are shy to enter (the cafe), but we try to make the situation comfortable, ” said Ahmad Dainey, adding there wasn’t a limit as to how much one person could take.
Over in George Town, a cafe in Lebuh Carnarvon, is serving daily free meals amid the MCO.
WTF Studios Penang had placed empty boxes outside its premises with a notice stating that anyone in need of a meal could get one from within the eatery which would be paid for by donors.
Café co-founder Joshua Levi Rasen said the free meals were not only meant for those affected by the MCO but also for anyone who was in need.
“We have the homeless nearby as well as those retrenched, ” he said, as reported by Bernama.