|Nguyễn Lên (left) and Nguyễn Bằng at his house in Quảng Ngãi City’s Nguyễn Công Phương Street. — Photo laodong.vn|
QUẢNG NGÃI — Nguyễn Lên, a 60-something veteran, is preparing blankets and cleaning up beds for elderly lottery ticket vendors who stay at his house.
The house on Nguyễn Công Phương Street, Quảng Ngãi City, the central coastal province of Quảng Ngãi is about 100sq.m with four rooms.
The lottery ticket agent has used two rooms of his one-floor house to put up old lottery ticket vendors for free for nearly a decade, Lao động (Labour) newspaper reported.
Those who stay at his house are mainly elderly, homeless or disabled.
Võ Văn Bách, 88, of Hành Thuận Commune, Nghĩa Hành District said he still tried to earn a living by selling lottery ticket around streets in the city even though he was old.
“Whatever it’s rainy or sunny, I have to do my job,” he said.
Bách recalled once when he fell and his legs were bruised, Lên bought medicine for Bách.
Nguyễn Tuấn, 86, of Nghĩa Hành District’s Hành Dũng Commune, said he suffered a sever stomachache at midnight when he was staying at Lên’s house.
Without any hesitation, Lên drove Tuấn to hospital for treatment.
“I’m always thankful for his kindness,” Tuấn said.
Another person staying at Lên’s house is Nguyễn Bằng, 86, of Tư Nghĩa District’s Nghĩa Thương Commune. Bằng is a disabled man with only one leg. He has spent his life in a wheelchair.
Bằng said if Lên did not let Bằng stay at Lên’s house for free, Bằng would not know how to survive with the small money he earned from selling lottery tickets.
Bằng earns about VNĐ30,000–100,000 (US$1.3-4.3) a day from his job and less on rainy days.
A warm heart
When asked why he looks after the elderly lottery ticket vendors, Lên said he had also experienced a hard life. He joined the army when he was young, and returned to his hometown aftter the country was unified in 1975.
He farmed, bred cattle and did other jobs to earn a living. Many years later, when he had saved enough money, he opened up as a lottery ticket agent.
“When I saw the elderly lottery ticket vendors, especially, disabled vendors, I just wanted to give them a hand,” Lên said.
One reason was because they were old, another was because they were disabled, he said.
“I asked myself that if I did not help them, who would?” he added.
He started to accommodate elderly lottery ticket vendors about 10 years ago. Lên’s house is normally opens until midnight when the last people returned and re-opened very early in the next morning.
“I will continue helping them as long as I can,” he said. — VNS