By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
With Vaisakhi just around the corner, the homeless and urban poor in the heart of Kuala Lumpur were served hot vegetarian meals sponsored by a Malaysian outfit powered by professional Sikh women.
This is EKTA Club of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor’s first such community project to help the urban homeless.
The project was carried out with the assistance of the Guru Nanak Community Kitchen, a Sikh-based initiative led by retired Malaysian air force officer Deep Singh who serves hot vegetarian meals to less fortunate city folk every Friday night.
EKTA vice president Harbans Kaur presented a RM1,850 cheque to Deep to assist the Guru Nanak Community Kitchen.
EKTA members and volunteers congregated at the Gurdwara Sahib Parliament, just a short distance from the Malaysian parliament in Kuala Lumpur, at 6 pm to pack and distribute the food to the homeless. The packed meals were then distributed around 7.30pm in areas such as Petaling Street, Masjid Jamek, Bangkok Bank and Raja Laut.
“It was a wake-up call to those who take the basic necessities in life for granted. We are truly blessed to have a shelter to call home, an official address, at least three meals daily, clothes to suit the environment and occasion, but for these homeless, even their next meal is not guaranteed”, EKTA Welfare chairperson Satwinder Kaur said in a statement emailed to Asia Samachar.
To EKTA members and volunteers, it was humbling to realise how the homeless just take one day at a time. These people have no control over the pouring rain or the scorching heat. Neither do they have any control over the noise and dust emitted from the traffic, the statement added.
“In spite of all the hardship, they were very polite, respectful and sincerely appreciative of our contribution. Some of them shared their life stories and the reasons for being homeless, all of which we could empathise,” said Satwinder.
It was indeed a tiring night for most of the volunteers as they walked quite a distance to reach the homeless, but it turned out to be a very insightful and humbling experience. A total of 670 food packets were distributed that night.
For EKTA, it said that this was just the beginning. EKTA will keep such initiatives alive and reach out to the needy. Besides welfare, EKTA also conducts outreach programmes to empower the community via medical, legal and youth development programmes.
EKTA Club of Kuala Lumpur and Selangoris a Malaysian registered NGO of professional Sikh women aiming to empower the community through youth development programmes and free legal, medical and welfare aid.
These Punjabi ladies want to make a difference (Asia Samachar, 14 July 2018)
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