Man cleaning apartment complex, but when elderly resident approaches—he rushes downstairs

May 1, 2018 4:10 pm Last Updated: May 1, 2018 4:13 pm

An average day of work in a housing complex isn’t full of much excitement or intrigue. Most are remarkably similar to the day before, and the one that will follow.

31-year-old Kalam Mohd Abu works as a cleaner at the Commonwealth Crescent in Singapore. But on April 15, his day unexpectedly got a lot more interesting.

Kalam Mohd Abu was cleaning on the sixth floor when an elderly resident approached him seeking help.

(Facebook/ The Straits Times)

The woman on the sixth floor asked him if he had any food.

Providing food and hospitality doesn’t fall within a cleaner’s job description. So when the elderly woman living at the Commonwealth Crescent approached Kalam, he was under no obligation to help.

However, the good-hearted man couldn’t in good conscience go about his daily work when someone was so desperately in need.

“She cannot cook, cannot go to the market to buy,” he told the Straits Times.

The woman had recently had surgery that left her unable to stray far from her residence, and with nobody looking after her, had difficulty finding a meal.

Without hesitation, Kalam raced downstairs and fetched his packed lunch, a box of curry and rice, and happily handed it over to her.

The woman was endlessly thankful for his kindness, but as far as Kalam was concerned, it’s a part of what he does on a daily basis. According to his supervisor, it isn’t the first time he’s shown residents this kind of generosity.

“He has seen the elderly grow older, the weak become weaker and some have passed away over the years,” Kalam’s supervisor told the Straits Times.

“He has already been giving extra food to the elderly. That’s why when the lady asked for food the instinct in him came out.”

Kalam said he liked to help an “auntie” or “uncle” if he can.

Kalam has already sacrificed so much, but he is still willing to help others.

“They’re also comfortable to eat the food, because they already know him,” his supervisor said.

Kalam, who earns less than $1,000 per month, sends much of what he earns back to his home in Bangladesh to support his parents, wife, and daughter. He is yet to meet his daughter who is now 2 years old.

Since arriving in Singapore 10 years ago, he has come to regard the residents as a surrogate family. Residents of the development regularly invite him to holiday gatherings when he cannot be with his family.

In addition to being thanked by local police, Kalam received a Certificate of Appreciation from Tanjong Pagar Town Council.

Cleaner's curry favour wins hearts and award

A Commonwealth Crescent cleaner was officially recognised for his kindness when he offered his meal to a needy resident. Thank you, Mr Kalam 🌻 http://str.sg/opapJoin other readers in sharing heart-warming stories in www.facebook.com/groups/whatsgd/

Posted by The Straits Times on Friday, April 20, 2018