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Saturday, 19 October 2013 13:58

Deepavali Distributions for Poor Students

Written by  Compiled by Gan Chian Nee, Kuala Lumpur & Selangor / Translated by Ng Say Fen

Students giving their parents a warm hug.【Photograph by Sam Pin Fook】

Tzu Chi KL & Selangor organized Deepavali distributions for poor students from 19 Tamil Primary Schools on October 5, 6 & 19, 2013. Each of the 1,124 low-income Indian families received a Deepavali gift pack and well wishes from Tzu Chi volunteers.


Each gift pack, consisting of 10 kg rice, 2 kg of cooking oil and 11 types of daily supplies, was distributed to the poor students under Tzu Chi's Happy Campus Programme and Scholarship Scheme. This gift pack distribution has been carried out since 2011. This time, the Headmasters and teachers were invited to be a part of the Organizing Team.

Impress the teachers first before educating the students

Both Tzu Chi's Team and the Schools' Team held several meetings to discuss details related to logistics arrangements, registration, translators, emcee and so on.

The main focus at the 17 distributions was the parent-child bonding session. The schools could choose to have either the "tea serving ceremony" or "feet washing ceremony" to be carried out by the students as an appreciation to their parents.

Headmistress Amani from Castlefield Tamil Primary said, "This is a traditional culture for the Indians and we have been actively educating the students on this culture. We thank Tzu Chi for their efforts in organizing such an programme for the students. The food and transportation assistance provided by Tzu Chi has helped to reduce their parents' financial burden, thereby enabling the students to concentrate on their studies without worries." She is also encouraging the students to learn self-discipline from Tzu Chi.

Senior Assistant Chelvi from Puchong Tamil Primary paired up with a young teacher to demonstrate the "Feet Washing Ceremony". During the demonstration, she thought of her own 82-year old mother and indicated that she would be washing her mother's feet during Deepavali. She was so moved that she gave a big hug to the young teacher and told her that she felt she was like her daughter.

Students show appreciation to parents by washing their feet

The emcee announced, "Please bend down on your knees and place your parents' feet in the water. Then wash their feet and dry them up with a towel. Once you are done, please give them a hug."

When her daughter was washing her feet, Ratha thought of her painful experience of being sold to another family by her mother when she was 5. She ran away from that family for fear of being bullied, and was taken in by a kind Chinese family as a maid.

When this Chinese family migrated overseas, she was sent to an Indian Temple and later adopted by another family. This new family did not treat her well, so she ran away again and landed at Pure Life (a home for orphans, underprivileged children and displaced families). There she remained until she met her husband and formed their own family.

Ratha said, "My parents abandoned me when I was a kid. Learning from the experience, I want to give my full love to my 3 children." She thanked Tzu Chi for the kind assistance extended to her. She was also very grateful to the Chinese family who had taken her under their wing when she had no place to go.

Chandaran, a father whose daughter is studying at Castlefield Tamil Primary, began to cry even before his daughter touched his feet. He said, "I am not able to provide the best for my 3 daughters, not even fulfilling their wishes." He hoped through this programme, more people will show their appreciation to their parents. Before he left, he submitted the donation form to Tzu Chi as he was impressed with the programme.

Educating the next generation

In his speech, Balamohan from Vivekananda Tamil Primary, said that he was impressed with what Tzu Chi is doing, always providing assistance without expecting anything in return. He encouraged the students to learn from Tzu Chi and to always appreciate what their parents have done for them. In addition, he also urged parents to become Tzu Chi's donating members to help those in need. The parents' response was positive.

He added, "The gift distribution this year is a special one with students helping to wash their parents' feet. Through their overwhelming response, it is obvious the parents have recognised Tzu Chi's contribution to the students. Some of them had even walked a few kilometers to join this programme." He also invited the Tamil media to cover this programme.

Words shared by Tamil media

At the distribution held at Ladang Rinching Tamil Primary, Rahjeswary from Nanban Press encouraged parents to have more communication with their children. Previously, no matter how tough life was, parents never gave up on their own children; but now, we see more Indian orphans in the orphanages. She also added that more people are sending their parents to old folks' homes nowadays to avoid any family conflicts.

Rahjeswary said, "Dear parents, our parents had brought us up despite all difficulties. Now that our living standard has improved, we must pay more attention to our children and nurture them to be useful people in society."

She also reminded the parents that they must treat their parents well so that their own children will do the same to them in future.
 

Through the Happy Campus Programme, Tzu Chi has successfully established a communication bridge with the Indian community. Besides providing assistance, Tzu Chi is also making the Headmasters, Headmistress, teachers and family members aware that their efforts are valuable for those in need.

 

Tzu Chi KL and Selangor organized 17 Deepavali gift distributions within two weeks, benefitting 1,124 families.【Photograph by Tok Chia Hua】   Chelvi, the Senior Assistant of Puchong Tamil Primary embraced the young teacher who had washed her feet.【Photograph by Leong Chian Yee】

Tzu Chi KL and Selangor organized 17 Deepavali gift distributions within two weeks, benefitting 1,124 families.【Photograph by Tok Chia Hua】
 
Chelvi, the Senior Assistant of Puchong Tamil Primary embraced the young teacher who had washed her feet.【Photograph by Leong Chian Yee】
 
Feet washing is the highlight of the gift distribution programme this year.【Photograph by Lai Sui Chin】   Ratha thought of her painful experience when her daughter helped her to wash her feet. Learning from the experience, she said she would give full love to her 3 children.【Photograph by Leong Chian Yee】

Feet washing is the highlight of the gift distribution programme this year.【Photograph by Lai Sui Chin】
 
Ratha thought of her painful experience when her daughter helped her to wash her feet. Learning from the experience, she said she would give full love to her 3 children.【Photograph by Leong Chian Yee】
 
Tzu Chi volunteers distributing gifts to the Indian families before Deepavali.【Photograph by Lee Kok Keong】   Amani, Headmistress of Castlefield Tamil Primary, thanked Tzu Chi for teaching filial piety to her students.【Photograph by Aw Lee Ching】

Tzu Chi volunteers distributing gifts to the Indian families before Deepavali.【Photograph by Lee Kok Keong】
 
Amani, Headmistress of Castlefield Tamil Primary, thanked Tzu Chi for teaching filial piety to her students.【Photograph by Aw Lee Ching】
 
In his speech, Balamohan from Vivekananda Tamil Primary said that he was impressed with what Tzu Chi is doing, always providing assistance without expecting anything in return.【Photograph by Peng Han Ni】   圖解8

In his speech, Balamohan from Vivekananda Tamil Primary said that he was impressed with what Tzu Chi is doing, always providing assistance without expecting anything in return.【Photograph by Peng Han Ni】
 
 
Reporter Rahjeswary's speech impressed the audience.【Photograph by Ong See Lim】

 

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