‘ATM’ That Dispenses Rice For The Needy
Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are the solution to cash-short days. But in a mosque in Malaysia, the machine solves a slightly different problem — food-short days.
The Al-Akram Mosque in Kuala Lumpur introduced a very special kind of ATM on Friday (15 Feb) — one that dispenses rice instead of money.
“ATM Beras”, or Bahasa for “rice ATM”, is the first of its kind in Malaysia and dispenses rice for the needy. It works just as how any ATM would — tap a card and the rice falls out.
You can watch a demonstration here.
Rice for the needy
Only those from a group called “asnaf” – the poor and the needy – are eligible to claim the rice.
The rice is paid for the by zakat — donations made once a year by followers under the Islamic laws.
Visitors can also make a donation at the machine, with proceeds going to the purchasing of more rice.
Making life easier for the poor
Sometimes, the poor are reluctant to collect alms because they are afraid of being seen. With the rice ATM, they will be able to collect the rice more discreetly, and so probably more willingly.
Such initiatives are heartening to see. Hopefully, if it receives positive feedback, we’ll see similar ATMs for the needy popping up in Singapore.