In light of telecom operators ending second-generation (2G) services on 1 April in Singapore, migrants group Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) has started distributing 3G-enabled mobile phones to less-privileged foreign workers in Singapore; according to The Nation.

With the city-wide shut down of 2G network, it sees many being forced to upgrade their mobile service. For foreign workers, many rely on affordable 2G handsets to keep in touch with loved ones back home while awaiting a resolution to their problems.

On that note, TWC2 said that it has already given the first batch of handsets to 50 jobless foreign workers late yesterday. These labourers are out of work due to wage disputes or workplace injury. 

TWC2 said it would hand out 120 more handsets next week, while some of the remaining 80 phones which have been collected would be given to other migrant welfare groups for distribution.

The group had encouraged the public to donate used 3G handsets or money to buy phones for the workers.

The group has currently collected nearly 300 phones in total; although only half are in a good enough condition to be given away. On the other hand, $11,458 has been collected in cash donations, of which TWC2 has utilised some of the amount to buy 100 additional phones, along with cables and charges for donated phones that had these items missing.

Speaking to Human Resources, Ethan Guo, general manager, TWC2 said: "A phone isn't a luxury for these workers. They need one to stay in touch with family back home, and to be notified of appointments with MOM or the hospital."

"We know that people in Singapore have a big heart, and they've shown this in a grand way by supporting our campaign so enthusiastically. Many have also asked to remain anonymous, proving that altruism is alive and well," he added.

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