We met M at our Little India food project. He explained that he heard about HealthServe from a friend and lives nearby, but since he can cook in his living space, he only comes by the food project occasionally.
M explained that he first came to Singapore back in 2008 to support his parents and wife. He left school after 10th grade to work in the farming and construction industry in Bangladesh. Back in Dhaka, his father farms rice and vegetables to feed the family, while his brother works as a driver in Saudi Arabia. M initially decided to come to Singapore and has returned multiple times because of Singapore’s reputation for enforcing its rules and regulations well.
Just a year back, M injured his left eye while working. He was hammering a board on the construction site, when a screw flew loose and went into his eye. Immediately, he called out to his friend and his friend then informed the safety officer on duty. After the safety officer was informed, M waited at the construction site for four hours before his supervisor was free to bring him to a doctor. He was then brought to a private clinic. Realizing the severity of his injury, the doctor at the clinic referred them on to the hospital for an operation to remove the leftover fragments.
M explained that when he first arrived at the clinic, his left eye’s vision was only somewhat reduced. However, while waiting to see the doctor and then while traveling to the hospital, his eyesight worsened until his left eye was completely blind by the time he arrived in the hospital. At the hospital, the doctor removed the lens in his eye and prescribed eye drops for high eye pressure.
Now a year after his injury, M no longer needs the eye drops but he is still blind in his left eye. He is currently waiting to see if it is possible for him to get another surgery to replace his lens. In the last month, his current situation became more difficult as he reached the one-year limit for receiving MC pay. He claims that even during the payment period, his company would pay him significantly less than what they filed to the Ministry of Manpower, cheating him of his pay. While he was working, he made up to $1500 per month, but his MC pay was sometimes as low as $700 per month.
M has not been home since 2015 when he arrived to work for his current company. Although he has been calling his family daily, he is keen to go home to see them again. Up until today, he is still praying for his wife’s understanding about his situation as well as maintaining the peacefulness within his family. After his possible follow up surgery, he hopes to spend time at home before coming back to Singapore for work once more. M also has a passion to start a fishing business in Bangladesh if circumstances allow him to do so.