Klang (15 October 2016) - For 13-year-old Mathawan Ragawan and 12-year-old Sunderi Mohan, their normal day begins bright and early at 5am as the two and 35 others from Sri Sai orphanage take turns to get ready, prepare breakfast and complete their chores.
Last Saturday was an exception for the children were treated to a special Deepavali shopping treat at Ajuntha Textiles Klang courtesy of Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB).
The children received the royal treatment as the two-storey store opened its doors early especially to allow the children the first picks of the day. With RM200 each in their pockets, the children excitedly flipped through racks of clothes, choosing outfits in their favourite colours. They also had some help from the kind ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ from F&NHB.
The children; mostly abandoned and from underprivileged families, excitedly anticipated the day trip as they do not get many opportunities to go shopping, let alone choose their very own outfits.
“Deepavali is a special time for Hindus around the world. It is also a time for us to remember the less fortunate around us, and to bring light into their lives. It has been six years since we began our Deepavali Shopping programme and each year, we look forward to seeing the bright and beaming smiles on the faces of the kids as they pick out their very own outfits. We hope this simple gesture will add to their revelry come Deepavali,” said Ms Cariessa Goh, F&NHB Corporate Affairs Manager.
Mathawan was happy with his pick - an orange jippa - which was adorned beautifully with patterns. “I look forward to Deepavali each year, more so now with the new clothes we just received. I can’t wait to go house visiting, attending celebrations and especially, having my favourite, Achu Murukku!” said the aspiring policeman.
Sunderi’s eyes were fixed on the brightly-coloured lenghas and sequined sarees as she stepped into the Indian-costume haven. “They were all so beautiful. Although I didn’t buy them, I’m happy with my pick; two purple Punjabi suits,” she exclaimed.
Though having stayed at Sri Sai for only three years, Sunderi says the children and caretakers have become her family. “Living with 36 other ‘siblings’ is fun though the boys can be naughty at times. We do a lot of things together especially during Deepavali like visiting the temple, kolam making and even playing fire crackers!” said Sunderi, who hopes to be a doctor when she grows up.
For Sugumaran Mohan, shopping with the volunteers from F&NHB was truly a different experience. “I enjoyed shopping with F&N. The ‘abang’ was a great help and picked out a red vesti and purple trousers which fit me very well,” said the 11-year-old.
The fun-filled day ended with a scrumptious vegetarian lunch at Chat Masala before the children headed back home with their respective shopping bags as well as gifts from Ajuntha Textiles.
“We had fun helping the children pick out their clothes and at the same time, getting to know them better. We are glad to have helped make this festive season a joyous one for the children. I’d like to thank Ajuntha Textiles for their generous contribution to the children and specifically, store manager Mr Rajan for working hand-in-hand with us to make this event a success,” said Cariessa.
Home Coordinator, Madam Rameswary Rahvee expressed her appreciation to F&NHB for gifting the children with new clothes and giving them something to look forward to this Deepavali.
Although stricken by illness, Madam Rameswary felt a strong desire to help the less fortunate and decided to open the Sri Sai Home seven years ago. The home currently serves as a shelter for abandoned children and those from disadvantaged families. The home takes care of their education up to SPM level while offering a healthy environment to nurture positive growth. Apart from children, the home also cares for the homeless, disabled and senior citizens.