A couple days ago, CNA Insider released a video on an 85-year-old pushcart ice cream uncle as part of its regional series on poverty among the elderly. Ng Teak Boon’s plight touched the hearts of many, and the video went viral, garnering over one million views in mere days.
“Selling ice cream makes me happy,” said Ng, who stations his pushcart at Sim Lim Tower every day without fail. He’s been doing it for over a decade and plans to keep at it till the ripe old age of 106. After his business day is over, he heads to Berseh Food Centre for a meal and a chat with his hawker friends. One of them, Madam Chia, takes care of him by helping him read HDB and town council letters, as well as looking after his bank passbook.
In his one-room Geylang Bahru flat where he lives alone — he’s been estranged from his wife and five children for years — he struggles with paying his rent and utility bills, and has no mattress or pillow to sleep on. Even though people have offered him assistance, he always declines the help, brushing it off as embarrassing.
After the video made its rounds online over the weekend, people have been coming forward to offer financial aid to settle Ng’s utility bills and rental payments, reports Channel NewsAsia. Yesterday, his ice cream pushcart saw a massive surge of customers who wanted to do their part to help him by buying ice cream from him. Even bedding manufacturer King Koil Singapore jumped on the bandwagon to provide him with a mattress, pillow, bed sheet and anti-bed bug mattress protector.
If you find yourself touched by his story and wish to help other elderly people living in poverty in Singapore, get in touch with organizations like Touch Community Services, Fei Yue Community Services or Willing Hearts.