Nur Alia Natasya (left) and her family at their shack in a rubber estate. Pic by SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM

NEXT week, our television network will be filled with dramas and telemovies with Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri as the main theme.

It has always been like this during the festive period.

Loyal followers of the teledramas won’t budge from their front-row seats. There will be pre-Raya, during Raya and post-Raya dramas and movies.

If you are a drama fan, the timing of the shows on television may influence your outing or visiting schedule on Hari Raya.

Your friends and relatives won’t be happy with your behaviour, but who cares!

The themes are quite predictable — aging parents in the kampung cooking their children’s favourite dishes. The parents wait and wait, but the children fail to balik kampung.

There may be another drama with a tale of family conflict involving an interracial relationship. The love story has not ended in marriage yet.

The boy introduces his beloved to the family on the eve of Hari Raya and all hell breaks loose.

In the next few days, we will also see many television commercials wishing every one Selamat Hari Raya. There will be sad ones, happy ones.

There’s always a nice message conveyed by these advertisements involving family togetherness, filial piety or helping the less fortunate.

Some advertisements are well remembered, reflecting various levels of creativity in our midst.

But I want to share a story that may cause you to shed a tear or two. It is the story of Nur Alia Natasya, a Standard Five pupil living in Kedah. She is the third child in a family of five.

She is about to spend Hari Raya without her father for the first time.

You see, her father was killed in a hit-and-run accident recently. Her life changed for the worse, and her future has become very uncertain.

Some of you may have known of her situation earlier. But Nur Alia, as the story is told, is a remarkable girl, it seems. Her teachers say she is a smart pupil and studies hard.

She stays in a dilapidated shack in a rubber estate, where the walls are made of worn-out wood and plastic sheets.

The floor is covered with mats to hide holes and rickety planks. There’s no electricity but the family has water supply.

Nur Alia is not like other girls her age. After her father’s death, her life has been turned upside down. The father was the family’s breadwinner.

Her elder brother has to drop out of school and start working to support the family.

Her sister, the eldest, has just got married and is starting her own family.

She won’t be watching any television dramas for sure, because her own difficult and heart-wrenching situation is a reality show by itself.

Nur Alia’s teachers have visited her home recently and are shocked to see her living conditions.

They have gone on social media to seek help for the family.

Such cases of poverty may not be an everyday scene for most of us, but they do exist, isolated though they may be.

If any one wishes to help Nur Alia, you may contact her school, SK Bukit Payong, Pokok Sena, Kedah (04-782 4324).

Her teachers say the challenges that Nur Alia face have never stopped her from being a conscientious pupil.

Let us help this girl to get out of her ordeal and let her be all that she can be.

ahmadt51@gmail.com aat@pahitmanis

The writer s the chairman of Yayasan Salam Malaysia

389 reads