8 Individuals Receive Caring Commuter Awards For Helping Others On The Bus Or MRT
It’s amazing how one good deed can make such a great difference in someone’s life.
Even in an ordinary setting like the bus or MRT station, extraordinary people have stepped forward to help fellow commuters in need.
Eight such individuals were recently conferred the Caring Commuter Commendation Award in recognition of their compassionate acts.
From reuniting a lost little girl with her parents to accompanying an elderly man with dementia until he was safe, here are some uplifting stories that’ll warm your heart.
Man helps injured teen suffering fits on the MRT
Some folks might panic and freeze up when they see a stranger suffering from a fit in public, but not Mr Sri Ganesh Babu.
The 51-year-old Building Information Modelling Coordinator was taking the train to work when a teenage boy fell on the floor and started having fits.
He was also bleeding after accidentally knocking his head on a pole.
“I was shocked at first, then I realised that the boy needed immediate help,” recalled Ganesh, who quickly approached the boy to comfort him.
Other commuters gave Ganesh some tissues, which he put on the teen’s head to try and stop the bleeding.
He then carried the boy out of the train when it stopped at Clarke Quay MRT Station.
While waiting for the ambulance that the station staff had called, Ganesh gave the boy some water and spoke with him.
Paramedics soon arrived and conveyed the teen to the hospital.
“After I sent him off with the ambulance, I felt he was finally in secure hands,” Ganesh shared. “I’m thankful to the station staff and paramedics for their immediate action.”
Ganesh later texted the boy to ask how he was doing and learnt that the latter had gotten the wound on his head stitched.
“I felt my parental instincts naturally expanding beyond my real family, and I was also very proud being able to help a fellow human being,” the father-of-two beamed.
Woman helps lost girl on bus find her parents
Many of us have probably missed getting off at our stop because we dozed off or became too engrossed in our phones.
While this isn’t a big deal to adults, who can simply find their own way back, it can be terrifying for a young child.
Madam Jazayah Binte Kamal witnessed this firsthand back in March 2023 when she sat behind a little girl who fell asleep on Bus 28.
The girl, Hopie, woke up when the bus stopped at Geylang Serai and started panicking as she didn’t know where she was, having completely missed her stop.
Jazayah found out what happened and lent Hopie her phone. Once the girl called her father, Madam Jazayah told him what had happened and arranged for them to meet at Paya Lebar Quarter.
There, Jazayah kept the girl company until her parents came to fetch her. As soon as they arrived, Hopie started crying and ran towards her mother, undoubtedly full of relief.
Hopie’s mother thanked Jazayah for her help and they took a photo together before parting ways.
Social service worker helps elderly man with dementia at bus interchange
As a Social Service Professional, Ms Tan Zhi Lin was at the right place at the right time when she spotted an elderly man arguing with a lady at Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange.
“My first reaction was to help as I observed how they struggled due to the communication barrier,” said the 29-year-old.
After speaking to the man, Zhi Lin learned that he wanted to go to an address that did not exist.
She then noticed that he was wearing a lanyard containing an AirTag tracking device, confirming her earlier suspicions of him having dementia.
Thanks to her work experience, she was aware that the interchange has a designated dementia “Go-to Point” and brought the uncle to the passenger service office for further assistance.
However, this was not without its challenges as the uncle expressed his panic and frustration by scolding anyone who tried to help him, including Zhi Lin.
TransCom officers eventually came into the picture. Even though the man continued to be defiant, Zhi Lin gave a masterclass in patience and pressed on in her efforts to calm him down, even offering to take him for a walk.
After a while, the man said he was tired and wanted to leave. More struggles and scolding ensued, but the officers were finally able to identify his next of kin and send him home.
“All that was in my mind throughout was to help the uncle and ensure he would be in safe hands,” Zhi Lin mused.
“I’ve always believed in helping others without any returns or rewards – the main reason why I joined the social service sector was to feel a sense of achievement from serving others.”
Preschool teachers help commuter who fainted on bus
Passing out in public can be dangerous but luckily for a young woman named Ann, preschool teachers Ms Chikku Babu and Ms Choi Yang Teng were around to help her when she did.
The incident happened on Bus 372 when it was about two stops away from Sengkang Interchange.
Ann had suddenly fainted in her seat and collapsed. Although other passengers tried calling out to her, no one went to check up on her except Chikku and Yang Teng.
Chikku, 57, helped Ann to sit upright before asking the other commuters for water, which she gave the young woman to drink.
“I was so upset when I saw her collapse and thought that I should act now rather than wait until it was too late,” Chikku said.
Using Ann’s phone, Chikku called the young woman’s mother to let her know what had happened. She also arranged for them to meet at a nearby clinic.
By the time they alighted at Sengkang Interchange, two staff – having heard about the incident from the bus captain – were already prepared to take Ann to the clinic in a wheelchair.
Chikku and Yang Teng continued to accompany Ann to the clinic, where she was seen by a doctor right away. They only left when Ann’s mother arrived.
“I value this precious award because I could help someone in need when the person was in a helpless situation,” Chikku gushed.
Commuters save women from harassment
Although Singapore is a relatively safe country, crimes still happen.
Senior engineering executive Ms Noorashikin Binte Sheikh Noordin, 44, witnessed this firsthand when she caught a man harassing a woman in a train heading towards Clementi MRT Station.
Without hesitation, she shouted at the man and alerted the woman to what he was allegedly doing.
Now aware of what had happened, the female commuter reported the man to the station staff, with Noorashikin as a witness.
Upon hearing the story, Noorashikin’s husband pointed out how daring she was to confront a man much larger than herself, but instead of fear, she felt “accomplished”.
I chose to step forward because I think every commuter should be vigilant and never be afraid to stand up if something happens to anyone or themselves.
A similar incident happened at Clementi MRT Station when full-time National Serviceman Mr Craigton Gan and another commuter saw a man secretly taking photos of a woman.
The culprit tried to flee when the duo approached him, but Craigton managed to grab him by the arm and take him to the Passenger Service Centre.
Although the 24-year-old was worried that the man might punch him, he pushed his fear aside, not wanting the man to commit the act on another innocent victim.
The station staff went through the man’s phone and found photographs of the woman inside. They then quickly called the police.
In the meantime, Craigton and the other commuter comforted the victim when she started crying. They left only after the Investigation Officer arrived and took over the case.
Everyday heroes don’t need capes
These eight remarkable individuals chose to step forward to lend a helping hand simply because they felt it was the right thing to do.
While we should do good without expecting anything in return, it’s also important to recognise those who go out of their way to show care – and the Caring Commuter Commendation Award does just that.
Hopefully, these uplifting stories will inspire everyone to not just be more willing to look out for their fellow commuters but to also have the courage to come forward to help if possible.
To find out more about the Caring SG Commuters initiative and to read more heartwarming stories like the one above, visit the online portal here.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Caring SG Commuters.
Featured image courtesy of Jazayah Binte Kamal, Sri Ganesh Babu, and Tan Zhi Lin.
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