A former English teacher forced to beg on Chennai's streets to survive, Merlin Paati from Myanmar found shelter and a dignified livelihood, thanks to the viral video shot by content creator Mohamed Ashik.
A few decades back, Merlin moved from Myanmar to India after her marriage. But when her family members passed away, the 81-year-old was forced to beg to fend for herself.
“I just beg. Sometimes I get alms, sometimes I don’t. I have to starve,” says Merlin, who has been living on the streets of Chennai for the past 6-7 years.
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Recently, a 25-year-old video creator, Mohamed Ashik, shared her poignant story on his Instagram account. It was revealed that she used to teach English.
Overnight, the video went viral, and Ashik created an account for her on Instagram in the hopes of getting her some aid. Merlin got 500k followers in just four days. People from across the world reached out to her to offer help.
Thanks to the support she received from social media, Merlin is now settling into an old-age home, where she can lead a respectful and dignified life.
The best part is that she will be making educational videos to teach English. Ashik says that he will publish them and pay her for the videos.
Watch the heartwarming story of Merlin here:
Edited by Padmashree Pande.
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