Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — As talk swirls about the upcoming challenge of caring of the elderly, some of these subjects are taking care of society’s problems, putting younger generations to shame.
For instance, several determined elderly citizens have been repairing potholes near their homes. The voluntary road repairers have gone out of their way to help the community, ignoring their age.
Trần Thị Xin, 80, in HCM City, has been repairing pot-holes on Alley 623 off the busy Cách Mạng Tháng 8 Street in District 10, the Thanh Niên (Youth) online newspaper reports.
Frustrated with rainwater filled potholes that splash dirty water all over the place when vehicles run through them, Xin bought cement from an adjacent market and filled in the holes herself.
She also placed small wooden boards around the wet cemented spots for drivers to avoid them. “But sometimes spoiled youngsters still drove right over them,” she said.
Her gesture deserves appreciation, said a neighbour, adding: “We have strong young men here, but they wouldn’t lift a finger.”
Nguyễn Thị Hoàng, 71, living near Thân Nhân Trung Street in Biên Hòa City in the southern province of Đồng Nai, is often seen filling holes on the street with soil dug up from elsewhere, the Dân Việt online newspaper reports.
Hoàng has been trying to fix the road for the last few years, said Nguyễn Thanh Tuyền, a neighbour. “Her tools are simple, just a dustpan and a broom,” she said.
Connecting two wards in the city, the street is overloaded and damaged by the large amount of vehicles that use it. While no serious accident has occurred, passengers frequently fall off their motorbikes while driving through the street.
Hoàng herself said that she had never seen such an ugly road, having lived in different places.
“Residents have gathered money to fix it, but it goes to back (to the old condition after it rains a few times),” she said.
No improvements were made although they reported the situation to the authorities, she added.
“It hurts to see people falling off their motorbikes, so I try to level the road,” Hoàng said. “I prefer working after rain when the ground is softer and easier to dig.”
Several elderly residents of Long Xuyên City in the southern province of An Giang have been providing free meals for low-income people, the Thanh Niên reports.
Located near the An Giang General Hospital, the Thân Thiện eatery provides 400-500 portions of porridge for low income people each morning.
The eatery is open all year round, even during holidays. It is the most crowded from 5am to 8am.
The porridge is cooked with water from boiling pineapple leaves by a team of 15 elderly cooks, most above 60 years old.
Phan Thị The, 63, head of the team, said they were classmates who wanted to help poor people after they retired.
“We cooked food using our own money at first, then asked friends, relatives and others to support us,” she said.
“We record every single detail of each donation, so donors trust us and have helped maintain the eatery for the past few years,” she added.
The Phước Thiện eatery, also located near the An Giang General Hospital, provides free vegetarian meals for patient’s relatives. Opened in August 2017, it is often crowded at lunchtime and dinner time.
Nguyễn Văn Tánh, 76, owner of the eatery, said that he cooked 150kg of rice per day on average.
“My close friends give me vegetables and spices, others help with the cooking,” he said. “I have been able to maintain the eatery thanks to their support.”
Lê Thị Nưng, 32, gets two portions from the eatery each meal. She came to know of the eatery while caring for her father at the hospital.
“I am touched by their kindness,” she said. — VNS