Setbacks spur her on to help others


Madam Gurusamy Intrany has had her fair share of struggles earlier in life, from seeing her father die when she was a teenager, to going through a divorce after her husband of 13 years had an affair, and undergoing three surgical operations in one day.

Despite all these, the spirited 65-year-old has proven to be a pillar of support today, not just for her family, but also for many others.

She still takes care of her 93-year-old mother-in-law who lives with her, counsels couples on the verge of divorce, donates to old folks’ homes in Singapore and India, and gives money to the poor she sees on the streets.

Last Saturday, she was one of six winners of the Silent Heroes award, given out by the Hillview Civilians Club at its 52nd anniversary dinner at Shangri-La Hotel.

Now in its third year, the award honours people who help to improve the lives of others without expecting recognition or reward.

The organisers look out for those who have shown significant concern for the elderly, sick or disadvantaged, as well as those with serious long-term disabilities who have worked towards achieving their goals.

Madam Intrany, one of the winners in the Pioneers category, buys chicken rice for the homeless elderly or disabled on the streets, and gives them clothes or $5 to $10.

She also occasionally visits Tai Pei Old People’s Home and Sree Narayana Mission with food and small sums of money for the elderly residents.

“As long as I am alive, I like to help these people because they have also suffered,” said the mother of four and grandmother of three.

“My mother was a good person who worked very hard for her nine children as a cleaner and cook. She taught us to help others even though we might not have much.”

Madam Intrany earns $2,000 to $3,000 each month, from being an astrologer and helping out with paperwork part-time at an engineering company.


Edited from an article written by Amelia Teng

Published by The Straits Times on Aug 30, 2016, 5:00 am SGT



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