Tuesday, Oct 24th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 08 February 2015 14:42

To Help Others is a Blessing and Key to Happiness

Written by  Tan Kim Hion, Kuala Krau / Translated by Chew Chiau Ping

Saroja continues to donate as she feels that to help others is a blessing. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]

Two years ago, Siva and Saroja, an Indian couple from Kuala Krau, were recruited by Tzu Chi volunteer, Yeong Kam Lin, to become a donating member; and they would also send recyclables to Tzu Chi occasionally. When their home was destroyed in the recent flood, this benevolent couple became recipients of the flood aid and realized that to help others is a blessing.


On February 7, 2015 afternoon, the usually quiet SMK Kuala Krau welcomed a group of volunteers and local folks, who came to clean the school hall in preparation for the cash relief distribution ceremony the following day.

After completing the chores, 51-year-old Indian woman, Saroja bade farewell to Kam Lin with her palms together. In return, Kam Lin said gratefully, “You all turned up when I asked for help. Thank you so much for cleaning up the hall. You have worked hard!” Saroja then promptly replied, “You do not have to thank us. In fact, we want to thank Tzu Chi and all of you!”

As Saroja walked home with a few Indian neighbours, she related her happiness to them that the hall was now clean and comfortable enough for the local folks attending the cash relief distribution ceremony the following day.

Continuous assistance from Tzu Chi

On February 8, upon arriving at SMK Kuala Krau, Saroja went to the Bamboo Bank Corner and emptied her savings into the urn. When volunteers thanked her for the donation, she shook her head and said, “Back then, I did not have the habit of saving money in the bamboo bank, nor did I know about saving. But I decided to adopt one bamboo bank when Tzu Chi offered them during the cash-for-work programme. When I saved 10 to 20 cent to the bamboo bank daily, I felt happy at the thought that it could be used to help others.”

For Saroja, it was a different feeling to save money in the bamboo bank daily compared to the monthly donation they have been contributing since becoming a Tzu Chi donating member. Two years ago, she and her husband happily agreed to put in monthly donation when approached by Kam Lin, although she was unaware how the donation was used to help the needy.

It was when disaster struck that she truly understood. She remembered the horror of seeing the rising floodwaters invading her house. They had to quickly evacuate on their motorbike.

When she returned home after the floodwaters subsided, she was shocked to see the damages caused by this unexpected disaster. She was unable to clean the house as she has mobility difficulties resulting from a stroke 15 years ago, coupled with her diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Her husband could not help much either, as he works as a civil servant, and her three children, who reside outstation, could not get back in time.

When the cash-for-work programme was launched, she was surprised and deeply moved to see a large group of volunteers that included doctors, businessmen, professionals and lawyers. When she noticed volunteers were around every day for more than a week, she felt that Tzu Chi’s continuous assistance will never cease.

After getting to know more about Tzu Chi from the volunteers, her husband, Sivarajoo a/l Kannan, who is a member of a local charitable organization, concurs with Tzu Chi’s way of helping others, that is, unconditional benevolence and empathy for all beings.

During the cash-for-work programme, he saw how volunteers would pick up recyclables in the midst of cleaning. He later learnt from them that not only could recyclables be reused, but they could also be turned into gold and subsequently, love.

“Now I know the proceeds from selling the recyclables are used for charity. Back then, I thought I was just helping Madam Yeong (Kam Lin) to recycle when I passed my recyclables to her. I did not expect that the help I received now is a result of recycling.”

A thought of kindness has given rise to the help he received today. When he saw how the volunteers had worked tirelessly to clean up each house as if cleaning up their own home, he was moved by their selfless act and loving care.

Siva and Saroja are confident of Tzu Chi’s ability to help the needy. Therefore, they promised to volunteer when the need arises and if time permits.

“We used to just donate for a good cause not knowing its usage. Now that I have learnt about it, I will continue to donate. I even convinced my daughter-in-law staying outstation to become a donating member and she has promised to donate RM5 monthly.”

Saroja happily related that despite her sickness, she still felt truly blessed when compared to those less fortunate. Her medical conditions, coupled with blurred vision, did not hinder her from doing good deeds. In fact, she has realized that even though praying to God is important, helping the needy is more meaningful.

Siva shares the same sentiments and love for Tzu Chi. Now, he will think of Tzu Chi whenever he sees cans, cardboards and PET bottles on the floor and will pick them up immediately; and he is doing this daily. He promised to convince more local folks to send recyclables to Tzu Chi’s recycling station so that more people can benefit from it.

It is important that a person on the receiving end can feel the power of kindness; more importantly, to help others is a blessing. Siva was grateful that Tzu Chi has brought this blessing to the village and everyone here.



Seated in the hall, Saroja watched the proceedings of the ceremony attentively, and listened closely as the Master of Ceremony read out the sympathy letter from Master Cheng Yen. Finally, when she received the letter from the volunteer, the warm feeling of love and care put a smile on her face.

When she found out that she was given a RM1,000 cash card, she related happily to the volunteers that with the money, she could afford better quality and water-resistant wooden floor planks to replace those damaged by the flood. This would ensure her floor planks could withstand future flooding.

A volunteer quickly corrected her, “No, no more flood. We have to wish for no more flood.” Saroja was stunned for a while, then replied with a nod, “Yes, yes, no more flood! No more flood!” Both smiled and secretly wished for a disaster-free and peaceful environment.

 

Saroja befriended volunteer, Yeong Kam Lin (right), when the latter recruited her to become a donating member. Kam Lin was seen helping Saroja to verify her IC. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]   Two days before the cash relief distribution, Saroja (middle) and few other neighbours came to SMK Kuala Krau to prepare the school hall for the ceremony. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]

Saroja befriended volunteer, Yeong Kam Lin (right), when the latter recruited her to become a donating member. Kam Lin was seen helping Saroja to verify her IC. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]
 
Two days before the cash relief distribution, Saroja (middle) and few other neighbours came to SMK Kuala Krau to prepare the school hall for the ceremony. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]
 
Saroja and Siva, who would often contribute for charitable causes, are now receiving help in the moment of despair. During the home visit by volunteer, the couple related that to help others is a blessing. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]   Siva would pick up recyclables from the roadside and convince local folks to send the recyclables to Tzu Chi so that more people can benefit from it. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]

Saroja and Siva, who would often contribute for charitable causes, are now receiving help in the moment of despair. During the home visit by volunteer, the couple related that to help others is a blessing. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]
 
 
Siva would pick up recyclables from the roadside and convince local folks to send the recyclables to Tzu Chi so that more people can benefit from it. [Photograph by Tia Yee Ling]
 
As Saroja poured her savings from her bamboo bank into the urn, the sound from the urn reminded her of the joy in helping others. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]   Saroja listened attentively as the emcee read out the sympathy letter from Master Cheng Yen, which filled everyone’s heart with a warm feeling. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

As Saroja poured her savings from her bamboo bank into the urn, the sound from the urn reminded her of the joy in helping others. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
 
Saroja listened attentively as the emcee read out the sympathy letter from Master Cheng Yen, which filled everyone’s heart with a warm feeling. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]