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Sunday, 07 October 2018 00:00

Celebrating Deepavali as One Big Family

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, Klang / Translated by Chong Yi Qin

Volunteers presented gift packs filled with Deepavali goodies to the care recipients, wishing them a happy Deepavali. [Photograph by Chan Hin Yee]

Living in a multi-racial country, it is natural for Malaysians to celebrate festivities together as one big family, regardless of race and religion. With Deepavali a month away, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor especially organized a celebration event for its Indian care recipients and their families on October 7, 2018 at 11 locations, bringing smiles to the faces of this underprivileged group of people in conjunction with the festival of lights. In addition to performances, vegetarian food and festive packs, volunteers also arranged activities to promote filial piety among the attendees.


One of the celebrations took place at Tzu Chi community centre in Taman Sentosa, Klang, involving 353 attendees from 86 households. At the crack of dawn, volunteers were already at the venue to make preparations for the joyous event. The atmosphere became merrier when the attendees, dressed in their colourful traditional outfits, arrived and exchanged greetings with one another.

Seated at 45 tables, the attendees were treated to a hearty spread of Indian vegetarian food. While enjoying their meal, they were entertained with traditional Indian dances and a drama presented by students from the tuition class ran by Tzu Chi at PPR Padang Jawa flats. Through the drama, adapted from a Buddhist story, the attendees realized the importance of watching one’s speech, for even an unintended joke may lead one to suffer karmic retributions.

Forever grateful for the kind gestures

Care recipient Murugan a/l Sollomutu attended the event with his wife, Selvi a/p Sellam, and their five children. Several years ago, Murugan, a dialysis patient and breadwinner of his family, lost his ability to work after his right hand was amputated. The family fell into financial predicament, but with five children to feed, Selvi knew that her only choice was to brave the ordeal.

Murugan recounted, “Back then, my family relied solely on my income for our livelihood. But I lost my job and had exhausted my savings. My children were on the brink of having no food to eat. Fortunately, Tzu Chi came to my aid. The volunteers visited us and gave us financial assistance. That eased my burden.”

At that difficult time, volunteers encouraged Selvi, who was a homemaker, to look for a job to support the family. It has been six years since then. Their eldest son is now 18 years old and has started working, and volunteers are still there to care for them. The worst has passed, and the couple was all smiles, feeling the warmth from Tzu Chi.

Student Navin a/l Ravi attended the Deepavali celebration organized by Tzu Chi for the first time. Soon after arriving at the venue, he enquired about how he could become a Tzu Chi volunteer. He explained that he is now doing his final semester at a university and plans to join the ranks of Great Love after he completes his studies.

After Navin’s father had a stroke, he lost his ability to work. Navin’s sister then became a beneficiary of Tzu Chi’s school transport subsidy and has been receiving the financial aid for seven years. Grateful for the timely aid from Tzu Chi and moved by the unceasing care from volunteers, Navin served as a substitute teacher for Tzu Chi’s tuition class at Taman Sentosa several years ago. However, he had to stop volunteering a few months later due to his busy schedule at the university. Despite the short term of service, it inspired his sister to take over his role to benefit those underprivileged students.

He was happy to attend the event and commented, “The people here are all very kind. You make me feel the beauty of human nature.”

Spiritual support for the helpless souls

Due to health reasons, Ramassivaran a/l Nallaporavi lost his job in 2014 and could only rely on the meagre allowance from the Social Security Organization (SOCSO) for his livelihood. In 2015, Tzu Chi came into his life, providing school transport subsidies for his three children. Since last year, Tzu Chi also began to offer living allowance to his family.

Ramassivaran mentioned that no one extended a helping hand to him when he was in difficulty, but Tzu Chi volunteers visited him monthly and showered their care on him humbly. Standing on the stage sharing his stories, he called upon everyone to do recycling and emulate the Great Love spirit demonstrated by Tzu Chi volunteers. “We should smile often and be humble when dealing with others so that they can feel the warmth and love. My family has been helping out at the recycling centre. I really hope that I can become a volunteer and reciprocate the kindness of Tzu Chi.”

Another care recipient, Kavitha a/p Govinda, attended the event with her four children. She lost her husband to a workplace accident six months ago and plunged into grief. She shared, “We were caught unprepared. Fortunately, Tzu Chi volunteers offered their support and gave us the strength to come out of our grief. Other than material and financial support, we found our spiritual strength in the volunteers’ comforting words and mental support.”

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Life may be difficult for some, but selfless Great Love can fill the world with positive vibes, enabling them to weather the storms. As the festival of lights is around the corner, may all of us light up our hearts with kindness and love, and shine them upon those around us.

 

Care recipients from 86 households spent a lovely morning at the Deepavali celebration held at Tzu Chi community centre in Taman Sentosa, Klang, on October 7, 2018. [Photograph by Lee Han Yoong]   A Deepavali celebration was also held for Tzu Chi care recipients from 45 households at Tzu Chi community centre in Sekinchan. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]

Care recipients from 86 households spent a lovely morning at the Deepavali celebration held at Tzu Chi community centre in Taman Sentosa, Klang, on October 7, 2018. [Photograph by Lee Han Yoong]
 
A Deepavali celebration was also held for Tzu Chi care recipients from 45 households at Tzu Chi community centre in Sekinchan. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]
 
Students from Tzu Chi’s tuition class captured the attention of the attendees with their presentation of a drama adapted from a Buddhist story. [Photograph by Lee Han Yoong]   The care recipients donated their savings in the coin banks to help others who are in need. [Photograph by Shirley Tan Pei Ling]

Students from Tzu Chi’s tuition class captured the attention of the attendees with their presentation of a drama adapted from a Buddhist story. [Photograph by Lee Han Yoong]
 
 
The care recipients donated their savings in the coin banks to help others who are in need. [Photograph by Shirley Tan Pei Ling]
 
Ramassivaran gave a testimonial about Tzu Chi’s Great Love spirit and encouraged the attendees to emulate the selfless love of Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]   Murugan and his wife, Selvi, who had a tough time coping with Murugan’s illness and financial difficulty, are now able to face life calmly, thanks to volunteers’ unceasing care and encouragement. [Photograph by Chan Hin Yee]

Ramassivaran gave a testimonial about Tzu Chi’s Great Love spirit and encouraged the attendees to emulate the selfless love of Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]
 
 
Murugan and his wife, Selvi, who had a tough time coping with Murugan’s illness and financial difficulty, are now able to face life calmly, thanks to volunteers’ unceasing care and encouragement. [Photograph by Chan Hin Yee]
 
Navin was delighted to attend the event and expressed his intention to become a volunteer to reciprocate the kindness his family has received. [Photograph by Mah Yuen Lung]  

Navin was delighted to attend the event and expressed his intention to become a volunteer to reciprocate the kindness his family has received. [Photograph by Mah Yuen Lung]