KUALA LUMPUR, 22 February 2021 – The PETRA Group has extended assistance towards 3,000 families within the disabled community that have been affected by the Covid19 pandemic through OKU Sentral.
The contribution was handed over to OKU Sentral President, YB Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi during a cheque presentation ceremony at the PETRA Group here on 18th February.
This is part of the PETRA Group’s initiatives in the past year towards communities in need where some RM7 million in aid have been channelled towards refugees, Orang Asli, hospitals, old folk’s and children’s homes and the hardcore poor.
"Because of their disabilities, even those who are in the M40 are struggling like those in the B40 because of the lack of opportunities and access to support," said PETRA Group Chairman and CEO Datuk Dr Vinod Sekhar, an advocate of social capitalism.
"It's very disconcerting that a country as resourceful as Malaysia is not able to help all those in need, even though it is resourceful enough. We can pay attention to all the infrastructure developments and modernisation projects, but we would have failed (as a country) if we don't uplift our people, especially from extreme poverty, which is something very important to me,” he added.
He said the country should be supporting the aspirations of the disabled community because they contributed to society in many significant ways, adding that the plight they faced should not be ignored.
"It's time for economic leaders and businessmen to be involved in societal development," he said.
Datuk Vinod also said this was why the PETRA Group was working with the association to come up with tangible and practical solutions on the matter.
Meanwhile, Ras Adiba said apart from those with disabilities, the donation would also assist those who have been struck by the recent floods in several states. The families would be given aid in form of food supplies and other household items.
She said the association was grateful to the PETRA Group and its Chairman and group chief executive Datuk Dr Vinod Sekhar who wanted to be part of its community assistance mission, which was launched in March last year.
Ras Adiba said the association sought to do its best to help those in need after the pandemic struck early last year, especially those who were disabled.
She said this was why the association worked closely with the Social Welfare Department (JKM), village chiefs of the rural areas, and state constituencies to distribute the aid.
Besides food items, the other items that will be given out are for personal hygiene and diapers, as well as stoma bags and urine bags.
Ras Adibah said the country had an estimated 4.7 million people with disabilities, based on United Nations' estimates of 15% of a country's population, but Malaysia only had just over 590,000 who are registered.