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News from the media
In Memory of Lakshimi - let's send her daughter to medical school
Source: ROH admin
Date: Feb 17, 2019
Lakshmi came to Singapore in November of 2017. She was brought here by a big-time mamasan by the name of Valli who promised Lakshmi that she could make a lot of money as a sex worker in Singapore. Valli paid for her travel and accommodation, and helped Lakshmi to get customers in the Little India vicinity. Every day, Lakshmi was forced to hand all her earnings over to Valli and only received money for food.  In the beginning of 2018, Lakshmi was robbed by a customer in her hotel room. He stole her purse with $200 cash inside. Furious and upset, Lakshmi allegedly called the police. While narrating what had happened to her, she admitted to doing sex work, and that she worked for Valli. The police allegedly told her that her visa would be cancelled and has 48 hours to get her stuff and return back to India. In an attempt to claim her $1,600 salary and money for her plane ticket, she went to look for Valli. However, Valli was furious upon hearing that Lakshmi had admitted to being a sex worker and allegedly told the police about Valli’s existence. Desperate to get her hard earned money back, Lakshmi went back the next day to try her luck. Unfortunately, Valli flew into a rage and her partner hit Lakshmi. Her efforts left her with a deep gash on her back that required 10 stitches.  As a consequence, the police allegedly decided they would open a case against Valli and her partner and kept Lakshmi in Singapore to be a prosecution witness in the case. Lakshmi stayed in Singapore and continued to do sex work. 6 months had passed before we heard from Lakshmi again. Members of Vallis gang were harassing her. They broke into her apartment and asked for money on multiple occasions. Threatening to hurt her teenage daughter living in India and expose the kind of work she was engaged in to her community. Worried about her only child, she came to Project X visibly distressed, requesting that we help her to return to India to be with her child. In November 2018, Lakshmi was to appear in court to stand as witness against Valli and her partners. Unfortunately, the police allegedly informed her that Valli had fled the country and thus there was nothing they could do about the case, now. She thought she could finally go back home to be with her daughter, the police allegedly told her she would be sent home within the month. However, things changed when the police allegedly needed Lakshmi to once again act as a witness against one of Valli’s gang members. She attended her bi-weekly meetings with her IO, in the hopes that she could finally return home. Unfortunately, in early January, Lakshmi passed away. She had pancreatitis and had been suffering for months. Unable to bear the pain any longer, she sought help at a local hospital, only to be turned away as she could not afford the $7000 that was needed for immediate emergent surgery. She passed away 3 days later. For a woman who had such a cheerful disposition and contagious smile, Lakshmi’s story is one of pure tragedy. She only managed to study up until Primary 3 and married a man who already had another wife and was a single mother. Her daughter was the only person that she cared about and did everything she could to support her. To make matters worse, her family suspected what she did as a profession and was not supportive of her marriage. Therefore, she was shunned and ostracized by her family. While in Singapore, her daughter stayed alone in a house given to them by Lakshmi’s husband. She took care of herself with the money that her mother sent back to India through her husband. As soon as her husband heard of her passing, we were informed that he immediately dropped the daughter off at Lakshmi’s sister’s house because Lakshmi was no longer able to financially support the daughter. With the help of our volunteers, Project X managed to get in touch with an NGO in India, based in Lakshmi’s hometown. The NGO established that the daughter was in the safe hands of Lakshmi’s sister, and was taking the news of her mother’s death well, considering the situation. She came across as a confident, smart and driven young girl. She wants to become a doctor and visit Singapore when she’s older to see the country which had failed to take care of her mother. Lakshmi was kept in Singapore as a prosecution witness, to help us incarcerate violent criminals. As a nation, Singapore failed to take care of her. We would like to take this opportunity to raise funds for her daughter in order to pursue higher education and to support her dreams of becoming a doctor one day. As her daughter is not yet of age, the money will be placed in a post-office deposit and kept locked and safe until she is old enough to access the money directly, without any influence from third parties.   *Ray of Hope has verified with Project X and has sighted documents from the partner organisation that is helping her daughter in India.
News from our Past Cases
22-year-old breadwinner urgently requires assistance with living expenses
Source: ROHI/Sharifah
Date: Jan 30, 2019
  Background Mr Irhwan, is only 22 years old, and is currently struggling to provide for his family. He has recently completed his national service and is currently studying part time for his Higher Nitec. His classes are in the evening and he is trying to find employment to financially support his family. His mother, 46 years old, is unable to work as she has depression. His younger sister is only 14 years old and is currently studying in lower secondary. The Struggle Mr Irhwan’s father had walked out on the family in the middle of December last year. His father used to work as a truck driver and while finances were limited, their basic needs were met. They had a roof over their head and had food on the table. When his father walked out on the family, Mr Irhwan has just completed his national service and is schooling part time in the evening. He is currently facing extreme stress as the family has lost their main breadwinner and the duty to support his family now rests solely on his shoulders. As he is studying in the evening, and with his highest qualification being Nitec, he has trouble securing employment that could allow him to work office hours. Mr Irhwan informed us that life is now extremely difficult. The family is currently living in a rental flat and has incurred arears with HDB and SP services. As they have no steady income at home, the family is struggling with food. The family now mostly consumes Maggie noodles as they are unable to afford purchasing groceries. For these past 1 month, Mr Irhwan has been doing ad hoc jobs however, the amount he receives is not enough to support his family. Education is extremely important, and Mr Irhwan knows this as he has trouble securing employment due to his Nitec qualifications. As he is still schooling, he needs a job that could allow him to end work by 5.30pm. Mr Irhwan is afraid that he will have to stop schooling in order to support his family. Help Needed – Give Hope Mr Irhwan has applied for SSO’s assistance at the end of December last year after his father walked out on the family. However, the processing time is anywhere between 6 weeks to 2 months. While he is actively searching for a full-time employment, due to his education qualification, he has encountered difficulties. Ray of Hope would like to urgently raise S$1,800 (S$300 x 6 months) to defray the family’s living expenses. Their situation is dire as there is no steady income to support the family and no financial resources to purchase groceries. Please donate to Mr Irhwan and his family as he is currently struggling to look after his mother and younger sister! * Beneficiary has just applied for SSO assistance, awaiting outcome  
 


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