$30,000 For Mr Alam Shah’s Treatment
Two weeks ago, we heard that interior design company Archetype decided to raise funds for Mr Alam Shah, who has stage three brain cancer. It looks like $30,000 has been raised for his treatment and the worker will be heading back to Bangladesh.
The amount is still insufficient, however—the firm wanted to raise $40,000, and at least $60,000 is required to treat his disease. The worker is undergoing treatment so that his condition doesn’t deteriorate.
A Hiccup Along The Way
The company initially approached the Bangladesh High Commission to help in lowering the cost of treatment by writing an appeal to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), where he was being treated. The High Commission has not gotten back to them.
For now, the company has found a place for the worker to stay in Dhaka, although they are still looking for a hospital where he can undergo chemotherapy.
According to TODAY, Ms Ayesha Siddiqua Shelly, a counsellor from the Bangladesh High Commission, said that the commission didn’t reply as they “did not want to set a precedent.”
“If we help Mr Alam appeal to SGH, there are lots of other workers and everybody will want one.”
Where’s The Compassion?
Ms Ayesha Siddiqua Shelly’s argument is that of a slippery slope—for starters, Mr Alam Shah’s case is an exception rather than the norm, as the not many companies are also willing to do what Archetype did to fund his treatment.
In fact, many companies would have sacked him and sent him back home.
This is the least we could do for Mr Alam Shah. He, like many foreign workers, are the ones constructing our building and doing the jobs most citizens turn up their noses at.
However, this decision may be for the best. As this commenter has pointed out, treatment is cheaper in Bangladesh.
We’re unsure if this is the best move, but we hope Mr Alam Shah makes a speedy recovery. If you’d like to help, email savealamshah[at]gmail.com or melissa[at]arche.sg.