Poor motorbike taxi driver helps disabled, elderly for free for five years
Originally from Ben Tre, Thien grew up in HCM City in a family subsisting on manual labor. He could not receive much education because he had to work to earn money when he turned 13 years old.
Before becoming a motorbike taxi driver, he took many jobs to earn a living, working as an assistant at construction works and as a waiter.
Since his childhood, Thien hoped that one day, he would have enough money to build a charity house and invite older people to live there. He liked to help disadvantaged people and people who no longer were able to work.
In 2017, when Thien was 20 years old, he had his first motorbike of his own. He used the motorbike to carry people free of charge when he had free time. One year later, he began providing a motorbike taxi service to earn a living, but he carried older and disabled people for free. He installed a board with the words "free transport for old and disabled people" attached to his motorbike.
Thien said there are many motorbike taxi drivers in the morning and it is difficult to find clients. His working day begins at 9 am and finishes at around midnight. In general, he goes to bed at 2-3 am. Sometimes he works in one go until 4-5 am.
When Thien drives his motorbike on the street, if he finds someone who needs help, he offers to give them a ride. However, not everyone wants to receive support. Some people think Thien is an evildoer who tries to swindle and rob them of their money.
“I met a blind old man and I told him that I would carry him for free, but he did not accept my support. He said he was blind and cannot help the poor, so he gave money to me so that I can help other people,” Thien said.
Asked about his monthly income, Thien said it was good some years ago, when he could earn VND8-9 million a month. Now, as there are many motorbike taxi drivers, he can earn only VND3-4 million.
However, the 25-year-old said his life is becoming better. Thien lives with his mother, who is a handywoman for a school. However, as it is now summer, she doesn’t have a salary.
“Previously, I felt deeply resentful about my life. I thought I was unlucky and people treated me badly. But later, when I met more people and listened to stories about their lives, I realized that there are many people who have been less lucky than me. I also can meet more good people and learn many things from them,” Thien said.