A WHEELCHAIR-bound single mother and a small-time baker have come a long way since joining an anti-poverty programme.
They are now able to make a good living for their families.
May Tan Sok Booi, 47, who has been on a wheelchair since she was 3 due to polio, is running a flourishing business making clothes.
Her disability never stopped her from wanting to do better for her family. She only needed new sewing machines to get her tailoring business going.
When she got them through the Akhiri Zaman Miskin (1Azam) programme last year, she began earning more.
"It was difficult with my old sewing machine previously. I could not do as much work as I wanted.
"Now, everything is going well and I am getting more orders," said Tan, who is expecting large orders to come with Hari Raya in two months' time.
Amran Harun, 36, is now the top baker in Padang Serai. He is one of the main bread and cake distributors around Baling and Sik in Kedah.
"My income has more than doubled since I signed up for the 1Azam programme two years ago.
"After I received the baking and packaging machines, my business improved.
"Before that, I was running a very small operation from home. The bread I sold brought just enough for me, my wife and our 5-year-old son to get by," he said.
Tan and Amran were among the 1Azam participants at the 1Malaysia Social Welfare (KAR1SMA) programme in Sungai Dua, here, recently.
The event, which was launched by Tasek Gelugor MP Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, saw 99 people receive business start-up kits worth a total RM495,000.
The money was to help the recipients from poor background start businesses.
So far, nearly 80,600 people have benefited from the 1Azam welfare programme which aims to help the poor improve their living standard by allowing them to become independent entrepreneurs.
Many of the participants are now running restaurants, bakeries and tailor shops.
At the event, more than 600 old folk, disabled persons and children also received their monthly KAR1SMA aid from the Tasek Gelugor welfare department.