On the other side ….

Hi..A group of me and my friends were walking around observing what was happening while we students are usually at school as part of our Service Learning project and here’s what we learnt…
It’s pretty obvious what this photo depicts, it’s me and my classmates posing for a photo with a few foreign workers at a HDB void deck. What i’m trying to achieve by sharing this photo is simply to raise awareness about the discrimination of the foreign workers here in Singapore, and to hopefully try to improve the situation by encouraging others to be more accepting towards them.
The foreign workers in this picture were actually rather surprised when we approached them. As we introduced ourselves and our motive of simply having a chat with them, they happily agreed, even though it was during their one hour break for them to have lunch and take a nap. They shared with us much about their life here, about their living conditions and even their pay. They even enthusiastically shared about the history of India and Bangladesh as i kept mixing the two up and thought they were from India. I learnt that there’s actually a lot that we can learn from them especially from their life experiences. They told us that every morning, they would have to travel from their dormitories at Yishun all the way to marine parade just to work there and the company only provided transport to Yishun MRT. Each day, they would work from 8-5pm with another extra 2 hours of overtime and they would receive only 20 odd dollars for each days’ work. Since they only worked from Monday to Saturday, they would have to go without pay on Sunday and as there is not much savings from each day’s pay after deducting the money spent on food, and money saved for their family, they usually have only enough for two meals on Sunday.
As we talked to them, we could really see how happy they were to be able to share with us, for me, i feel it was because we had stepped out of our comfort zones and were willing to talk to them and accept them. Well, most of us would barely give a second glance when we see them, or some even choose to walk away or in another direction. Well, I would like to ask you if you really think that’s the right thing to do… The work they’re doing is actually very important. Few Singaporeans would actually take up the jobs that they do here for us. Can you imagine if they did not come here to work? What would happen to us then!
All i want to say, is that we should really learn to appreciate and accept them as our equal. Maybe the next time we see them, we could perhaps just give them a simple smile, or even a word of thanks, to show our appreciation for what they are doing, I’m sure it would make their day. Or at the very least, the next time we see them, we can just try not to pull an ugly face or walk away.
Thank you for taking time to read this, and although every share would not get a dollar donated or anything, but every share is a step closer to a warmer, more accepting society.

Salute for these boys. Original link here.

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