Saturday, June 15, 2024
30 C
Brunei Town

Have we done enough to help the poor?

The news article, ‘I have to work to survive’, published in the Bulletin yesterday makes me wonder if all the financial assistance schemes have done enough to make sure the impoverished do not fall through the cracks.

During this year’s Ramadhan, there was endless media coverage on the authorities, non-governmental organisations and individuals donating money and essential items to the poor.

It was heart-warming as it depicted a society that cares about the welfare of the populace.

However, the article served as a reminder that while the community continues to lend support to the poor, we can only help for as long as we know these people exist. In the case of the eldery woman, she is living on old age pension fund, which in most cases, should suffice. But the fact that she lives alone means she has to bear all the living expenses, alone.

I suspect there are a great many senior citizens such as her out there, making ends meet with whatever skills and resources they can find. But with limited knowledge in today’s digital age, how are they to make themselves known if we have have been in a mad rush to digitalise just about everything?

My point is, while the digitalisation initiative is timely, we must be mindful not to leave the elderly behind, especially old folks with little support from their families. Imagine having to claim their existence with a computer or a smartphone. But that’s where we are essentially heading as a society.

While I applaud the authorities for their proactivity, especially in upskilling the populace for the imminent future, I hope to see such an anticipatory spirit extended to the old and the destitute.

The Observer