PETALING JAYA: Helping the elderly has been second nature to P Devika for as long as she can remember.
The 57-year-old created headlines last week after skipping Deepavali celebrations to help evacuate a partially paralysed woman from the rising floodwaters in her Alor Star home.
Devika and her husband put their trip to Kuala Lumpur on hold after finding out that Supiah Musa, 76, was trapped in her home by the floods. Devika went to her aid, helping the civil defence to evacuate her.
Devika’s sacrifice should come as no surprise for those who know the bubbly Alor Star native.
“Even before I was married, I have always been helping the elderly – no matter if they are Malay, Chinese or Indian. I would go to their homes to help them eat, bathe and dress their wounds,” she told FMT.
“I don’t know why, I just enjoy helping the elderly. I may have got it at a young age from my mother, who also took care of the elderly and taught me how to go about doing it.”
Devika, who lives about 1km from Supiah’s house, said she has been tending to the elderly widow for the past four years as Supiah has had to fend for herself since her husband died a few years ago.
Devika said Supiah is now staying with her, but might move back to her home in the next few days when the floodwaters fully recide and her house can be cleaned.
While Devika said Deepavali celebrations this year were not as joyous as usual as she could not spend the festive season with her children, both in their 30s and living in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, she said she knew she could not leave Supiah to fend for herself.
Devika, who works as a maid, said she has been visiting Supiah three times a day to feed and clothe her, take her to the toilet, and change her diapers.
“Sometimes she gives me a bit of money, but I’ve never asked for anything in return when I help her – or the other eldery I used to take care of. I’m sincere,” said Devika.
“Mak Cik Supiah is like a mother to me.”