MELAKA, April 25 (Bernama) — Each day L. Marthaini, 39, will leave her home in Malim and head to the Taman Merdeka Wholesale Market at 6.30am.

However, her early morning routine does not consist of selling or buying groceries, instead she goes there to collect produce that are discarded by sellers.

“Vegetable sellers usually throw away vegetables which have withered and gone bad, so I take them home, soak them with salt and cook for my husband and children to eat,” said the woman who works as a part-time dishwasher at a restaurant.

The mother of six children aged between 11 and 21 said poverty forced her to collect discarded vegetables so that her disabled husband and children have more than plain rice to sustain them for the day.

However, the family received a ray of light when the 1Azam poverty eradication programme and Melaka Foundation contributed a motorcycle for her husband, S. Silvarajoo, 52, who had fractured his right leg in a hit-and-run accident.

Silvarajoo expressed his happiness and hoped his wife would no longer need to collect discarded vegetables as he planned to set up a small ‘cendol’ or ‘nasi lemak’ business using the motorcycle.

Meanwhile, 65-year-old Mariam Ismail from Ayer Keroh expressed her gratitude for a free pair of glasses which would help her go about her daily life better.

“I am longsighted. It’s difficult for me to see when I walk and do house chores so these glasses will help me out a lot,” she said.

The 1Azam aid was introduced by the government in 2010 to improve the lives of the people, especially those in the low-income group.

It is one of the government’s efforts to allow the group to be independent based on a productive welfare concept.