“Children look at me in fear, people stare and shun me, the MRT security will check my bag, and the police has also stopped me many times. But I am no terrorist, just a worker who has been severely burnt.

It happened when I was pressured into cleaning an underground water tank. There was this bad smell coming out and no one wanted to clean it so my boss said to me, “don’t make excuses saying this is not safe, you say that this is not safe because you don’t want to do this.”

I was given this halogen lamp and it was the moment I switched on that lamp that there was a big explosion. I didn’t even know what happened except that I was covered in flames. When my colleagues pulled me out, they couldn’t recognise me. The skin on my face was gone and I could see my bones. I thought I was going to die.

The burns were so severe that the doctor said it’s very difficult for me to get my original face back. I needed face reconstruction surgeries but my treatments stopped halfway because my employer refused to continue paying. He reasoned that he had already paid a lot and that he cannot be responsible for everything.

I had to cover my face with a scarf and sunglasses every time I go out so that people are not afraid of me. The pain from the burns is just the surface, it is even more tiring to deal with people's judgment.

But I got to know a lot of good people from HOME and many other friends. Things are better now. I have started going for English and computer classes and am also helping other workers with problems. I want to encourage all other workers suffering from injuries: when you meet with difficulties in life, don’t give up!"

- Rahman

Help support Rahman through this campaign Reviving Opportunities & Aid for Rahman and donate to make recovery possible for him at https://give.asia/campaign/help-support-rahman-s-surgeries.

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