The National Library Board’s (NLB) One Story initiative has welcomed a new work: Razi, a Malay short story on the love and struggles of those with special needs.
Written by Dr Sa’eda Buang, the book features the story in all four languages of English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil and is available in the public libraries and on the NLB Mobile app through OverDrive.
As part of the National Reading Movement (NRM), Razi is the second story in this One Story project, which began last year, after Mr Sithuraj Ponraj’s Dharma’s Chariot in 2020.
A Mother’s Love is tested
The book centres around Nani, the mother of Razi who has special needs. As Nani struggles with her caregiver role, she becomes the subject of criticism among the community and her family.
Pushed to the edge, she is swayed and pressured by her sister’s constant cajoling to seek alternative treatment for her son. Her resolve is tested in this universal tale of unconditional love which leads to a secret hidden from her husband.
Will readers condemn her choices or empathise with the challenges she faces?
The book is available for loan here.
Through the book, which highlights how society treats people with special needs, NLB aims to spark fruitful conversations and raise awareness about the challenges that persons with special needs and their caregivers regularly face.
Readers are confronted with the issues that caregivers often grapple with, such as mental health as well as cultural and religious factors.
From Nani’s deliberately flawed choices to the attitudes of those around her, there is much room for reflection and discussion.
Dr Sa’eda, the author, aims to deliver more than just a good read. “I hope you will enjoy it and… foster more understanding, empathy and acceptance among one another,” she said in an NLB video.
As part of NLB's LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025), where NLB will be building a "Learning Marketplace" for our patrons to read and learn with us beyond the four walls of a library, One Story encourage readers to learn more about the real-world issues, such as those faced by persons with disabilities and gain insights into their experiences.
Our patrons can also participate in a variety of onsite, online and hybrid programmes which include meet-the-author and creative writing sessions, book club discussions as well as talks and panel discussions on special needs and caregiving held in all four languages.
A special line-up of programmes will be introduced across all languages on 2 April 2022, as to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day. Full programme details can be found at https://www.go.gov.sg/onestory.