Monday, Oct 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 00:00

The Warmth of Motherly Love

Written by  Yong Siew Lee, Malacca / Translated by Hsu Miao Ju

Volunteers’ care and assistance made Kavirajan feel the long-lost motherly love, and he was grateful for that. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Tzu Chi volunteers went to SJK(T) Durian Tunggal and SJK(T) Ladang Diamond Jubilee, to get the needy students’ measurements for school uniforms. An optometrist was also invited to go along with the volunteers to perform eye examinations for the children.


In the Tamil primary schools, some students from low-income families had to attend school in their torn shoes, let alone getting a new pair of spectacles that is much more expensive. A student, due to short-sightedness and broken eyeglasses, was labelled a slow learner; while another student with outstanding academic performance had high myopia of over -8.00 dioptres, and could only squint to see more clearly.

Since 2011, Tzu Chi volunteers have been listening to the schools’ needs and extending help to needy children from low-income families through the Happy Schooling Scheme, after assessments and discussions.

The Happy Schooling Scheme, which is an extension of the Tzu Chi Study Grant, covers various study subsidies. Volunteers would also bring the students refurbished computers, study desks and chairs; festive packs for Deepavali celebration, school uniforms and shoes, spectacles and other items, as well as, create health awareness in them, provide them with health check-ups, and so on.

On July 11, 2017 morning, volunteers went to SJK(T) Durian Tunggal and SJK(T) Ladang Diamond Jubilee, to take body measurements of 18 students so that they could be fitted with new school uniforms and shoes. Volunteers also invited an optometrist to go along to perform eye examinations for 13 students who needed the service and get them new eyeglasses.

Responding to the calls for help

In the new assembly hall of SJK(T) Durian Tunggal, 11 students, who needed school uniforms and shoes, and 6 students, who needed new pairs of eyeglasses, waited patiently for their turn to be served. Volunteers also caringly prepared some bread and drinks for the students’ breakfast. While waiting, volunteers shared with the students about Tzu Chi.
After taking their body measurements, volunteers presented the students with new school uniforms, while school shoes and eyeglasses would be delivered to the schools on another day once they were ready.

Tzu Chi volunteers are no strangers to Teacher Saratha, Head of Student Affairs. Although she was only transferred to the school about a year ago, she had come across Tzu Chi in her previous school and had a deep impression on the volunteers.

She expressed, “The volunteers have been humble and courteous when they approached us to enquire about our needs. Tzu Chi has really done a lot for Tamil primary schools. This includes the recent donation of 100 chairs for our new school hall.”

Teacher Umapathy, the liaison person between the school and Tzu Chi, was delighted to see the children’s excitement, written clearly on their faces. She remarked, “You can see that the children are very happy. I am really grateful that there are still people who are willing to help in this world.”

Student Pannir Selvam, who accidentally broke his spectacles when he was in Primary 1, could not afford to get a new pair of eyeglasses due to financial difficulty. As he struggled to read the text word by word, he was labelled a slow learner. His parents had visited the school to inform them that their child had short-sightedness and needed a pair of eyeglasses, but there was nothing much the teachers could do to help. It is not until now that he is in Primary 3 that he could have a new pair of spectacles with assistance from Tzu Chi. He was also overjoyed that he could choose the frame himself and could not wait to go home and share the good news with his mum.

You are like my mum

Kavirajan, a Primary 4 student, lost his mother to heart attack when he was five years old. He has five elder sisters and his father works as a security guard. As his sisters are either married or studying away from home, he has to cook occasionally. While he has no problems preparing meals himself, he still requires his sisters’ help when it comes to mending his torn clothes. And, despite knowing that his father would get him a new pair of school shoes to replace the torn one, he felt sorry for creating extra burden on his father.

Volunteers assisted Kavirajan to try on a few pairs of shoes patiently until he got the right pair that fitted perfectly. A grateful Kavirajan, who had attended Chinese primary school before this, then expressed his appreciation to the volunteers in Mandarin by saying, “You have given me a lot of help, just like my late mum.”

Volunteer Tan Chye Choo shared with Kavirajan about Tzu Chi and inspired him to do kind deeds together. He said, “Aunty (referring to the volunteer) said I could save money and donate to help those in need. I will start saving so that I can donate to others when they are in need. But I can only join you all for charitable work when I grow older…”

Volunteers then encouraged him to do kind deeds by starting from something small, like doing interpretation for his peers, picking up nails on the ground, and so on. Chye Choo also gave Kavirajan the bamboo bank that was in her car. With encouragement from volunteers, Kavirajan immediately asked for donations from his peers, and the latter happily offered their love.

Upon seeing Sharvin, who comes from a low-income family, donating another RM 1 after donating RM 1 earlier, volunteers were concerned whether or not he would have enough money to buy lunch. But a pure-hearted Sharvin replied, “It’s OK. We will get free lunch.”

Despite coming from humble families, the children have kind hearts, and this was evident from their sincere donations into the bamboo bank.

What we can do for Tzu Chi

After completing the distribution of school uniforms in SJK(T) Durian Tunggal, volunteers proceeded to SJK(T) Ladang Diamond Jubilee on the outskirts.

Miruthulaa, a Primary 1 student, looked at the optometrist in fear, as her peers told her that an eye examination involved digging out the eyes. She only felt relieved when volunteers explained and reassured her that she did not need eyeglasses. She shared her joy with her peers after getting her new pairs of uniforms.

To Narmadaa, who ranked number two in academic performance in her class, was shocked to discover that she had developed high myopia of over -8.00 dioptres. However, she was advised to visit another optical shop in Jasin town with her parents to undergo further examination using more advanced equipment.

Although Narmadaa had told her parents of her eyesight issues, they were too busy at work and had not brought her for eye examination. Fortunately, Tzu Chi has come timely to provide the much needed assistance, and the owner of the optical shop was also willing to give discounts to Tzu Chi to help these needy students.

Principal Veni was moved by the volunteers’ kind gesture. She expressed her gratitude to Tzu Chi and asked if there was anything they could do for the Foundation.

Volunteer Hoon Tai Peng, Coordinator of the Happy Schooling Scheme, then suggested that the school carries out recycling programme on campus. He also shared about Tzu Chi’s bamboo bank spirit and discussed with the Principal on giving a talk in the school to raise environmental awareness among the teachers and students.

On August 11, volunteer Goh Ah Lian, together with three fellow volunteers and an optometrist, revisited SJK(T) Durian Tunggal. Besides bringing the students their spectacles, volunteers also brought some bamboo banks as requested by Teacher Umapathy, who hoped that the students could learn to reciprocate the kindness they received. While happily putting on his new pair of spectacles, Pannir Selvam promised the volunteers that he would cherish the spectacles and study diligently. Wearing his new pair of school shoes, Kavirajan handed to the volunteers a donation of RM50, which he collected from his teachers and peers. He had kept in mind the volunteers’ advice that one should not wait to perform kind deeds. The Principal herself not only obtained a bamboo bank for herself, but she also asked for donor forms from the volunteers, hoping that she could invite all teachers in the school to do kind deeds together.

On the other hand, Tai Peng discussed with volunteers in charge of recycling mission, hoping that the volunteers, who stay near the school, could arrange for a recycling programme for the school. He would also share with the Principal Tzu Chi’s bamboo bank era and invite everyone to do kind deeds.

 

 

Volunteers visited two Tamil primary schools to take body measurements of the needy students, so that they could be fitted with school uniforms, as well as, shoes. Volunteers also brought along an optometrist to perform eye examinations for the children. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Volunteers took body measurements of the students to ensure that they could get fitting school uniforms. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Volunteers visited two Tamil primary schools to take body measurements of the needy students, so that they could be fitted with school uniforms, as well as, shoes. Volunteers also brought along an optometrist to perform eye examinations for the children. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Volunteers took body measurements of the students to ensure that they could get fitting school uniforms. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Realizing that one should not wait to do kind deeds, Kavirajan immediately invited his peers to do kind deeds together by making donations to help the needy. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   As Narmadaa was found to have developed high myopia of over -8.00 dioptres, volunteers requested the teacher to inform Narmadaa’s parents to bring her for further examination. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Realizing that one should not wait to do kind deeds, Kavirajan immediately invited his peers to do kind deeds together by making donations to help the needy. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
 
As Narmadaa was found to have developed high myopia of over -8.00 dioptres, volunteers requested the teacher to inform Narmadaa’s parents to bring her for further examination. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Principal Veni was deeply moved and she thanked the volunteers for their kind gesture. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]   Pannir Selvam was happy with his new pair of eyeglasses. He promised the volunteers that he would cherish it and study diligently. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

Principal Veni was deeply moved and she thanked the volunteers for their kind gesture. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
 
Pannir Selvam was happy with his new pair of eyeglasses. He promised the volunteers that he would cherish it and study diligently. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 
Teacher Umapathy shared with the students who received new pairs of spectacles the spirit of Tzu Chi’s bamboo bank era. She encouraged the students to reciprocate the kindness they received. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]  

Teacher Umapathy shared with the students who received new pairs of spectacles the spirit of Tzu Chi’s bamboo bank era. She encouraged the students to reciprocate the kindness they received. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]