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One-Legged Martial Arts Teacher Rides Scooter To Give Free Meals To Saigon’s Needy

One-legged teacher joins relief efforts to help vulnerable residents

2 months into the height of the Covid-19 crisis, we have witnessed countless uplifting stories of resilience, compassion, and hope.

From operating a public fridge to handing out charity meals through pipes, many individuals and organizations have been chipping in to support the communities.

Among these inspirational people is Mr Tạ Anh Dũng, a 62-year-old martial arts teacher in Saigon who happens to be an amputee. Despite his disabilities, Mr Tạ has been riding a scooter around the city to hand out over a hundred charity meals every day

Read on to see how this one-legged teacher rise above his personal challenges to help others.

He lost his left leg in an accident

Mr Tạ is a renowned one-legged martial arts teacher.
Image adapted from: Thanh Nien

At the age of 21, Mr Tạ lost his left leg in an accident. To adjust to his new life as an amputee, he learned martial arts and exercised with this other leg. His hard work paid off and he became a martial arts teacher specializing in traditional kung fu. 

7 years ago, Mr Tạ started participating in charity work in Tấm Lòng Chung, a charity group founded by one of his students. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the group has been making 1,000 meal boxes per day to distribute to those in need.

Image adapted from: Thanh Nien

As a member of the group, Mr Tạ takes part in handing out food to homeless people or residents living below the poverty line. 

Riding a scooter loaded with over a hundred meal boxes while dressed in protective clothing is a daunting task. Having only 1 leg makes this job even harder. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop Mr Tạ from leaving his home and reaching out to those in need, lest they go hungry. 

Image adapted from: Thanh Nien

He hands out over 150 meal boxes per day 

Image adapted from: Thanh Nien

“Seeing my fellow countrymen go hungry moves me deeply. That motivates me to continue doing this job. I don’t think I’m doing anything great here,” Mr Tạ said. 

The former martial arts teacher’s food delivery work starts at 10AM and ends at 3PM. Every day, he rides a scooter from his home in District 8 to Binh Chanh Ward to collect charity meals.

After that, he carries over 150 meal boxes on his scooter around the city and hands them to those in need.

Image adapted from: Thanh Nien

After distributing all the meal boxes, he takes a short lunch break and continues carrying basic necessities to quarantined neighborhoods.

Image adapted from: Thanh Nien

Mdm Lê Thị Kim, a beneficiary of Mr Tạ’s kind gesture, told Thanh Nien, “I’m a full-time lottery ticket seller. Ever since the pandemic struck, I have been suffering tremendously. Thanks to Mr Tạ’s meal boxes, I’m able to survive until today. Otherwise, I don’t know where to find food.”

An act of kindness will not go unnoticed

Strong, compassionate, and inspirational, Mr Tạ has set an excellent example of the power of what you can accomplish for you and your community as long as you don’t succumb to your circumstances.

As we adjust to the Covid-19 pandemic and the financial crisis that follows, Saigon residents from all walks of life are doing their best to support and uplift the communities.

Be it big or small, captured on the camera or not, an act of kindness never goes unnoticed. It will stay in the hearts of its beneficiaries for a very long time and inspire them to pay it forward when they can.

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Cover image adapted from: Thanh Nien

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