“I will take care of myself as long as I can… then I’ll go to the hospital and die,” says an 81-year-old in a country where nearly half the elderly population is poor. Part 2 of a regional series on elderly poverty.
- Posted 19 Mar 2017 05:03
- Read Part I – Granny prostitutes reflect South Korea’s problem of elderly poverty
86-year-old Madam Kim takes a break. She works from morning to sunset, collecting more than 100 kg of trash a day. (Photo: Lam Shushan)
SEOUL: As the snow falls heavy on the city streets, Madam Kim trudges on through the sub-zero weather that has most others huddled indoors, going through her daily routine of gleaning alleyways for waste paper and other recyclable trash.
Severely hunched over, the 81-year-old does this for a living. On a typical day, she circles the city a few times on foot, gathering more than 100 kilogrammes of trash which she takes to a junk depot that buys it for 100 won per kilogramme.
That’s barely 10,000 won, or roughly S$12, for a day’s heavy haul. Continue reading “Poor and on their own, South Korea’s elderly who will ‘work until they die’”