Pupils from low-cost settlement get new gear to start their year

Excited: Children from low-cost settlement areas in Puchong opening the packages donated by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

BACK to school preparation cost for 60 underprivileged families is now alleviated thanks to donations made by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness Kuala Lumpur (ISKCON).

Aid packages comprising school bags, socks, shoes and spiritual books worth RM10,000 were contributed by the society to 75 children from four schools in the low-cost settlement areas of Puchong.

Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan, who presented aid to the children at the ceremony, lauded the initiative.

“Most NGOs deliver back to school aid in a one-off manner.

“Its good to know that ISKCON delivers continuous support through spiritual and yoga classes to these children even after the donations have been given,” said Loga Bala, who is also an ISKCON devotee since he was 14.

Comprising primary and secondary school students, recipients of the aid were mostly from SMK Seksyen 4 Bandar Kinrara, SJK(T) Kinrara, SMK Seksyen 1 Bandar Kinrara, and SMK Seksyen 3 Bandar Kinrara.

ISKCON Malaysia regional secretary Simhesvara Rao said families receiving the aid were identified through the society’s ongoing charity initiatives.

“During our ‘Hari Nam’ carolling sessions and Food For Life soup kitchen initiative, we met a number of families requesting help to purchase school necessities for their children,” he said, adding that many of the children had only just begun their first year of primary education.

“Following this aid giveaway, our volunteers will revisit these families to check on their needs and also provide spiritual classes for their betterment,” he said.

Rao added that this was the first back to school aid programme by the 34-year-old ISKCON Kuala Lumpur and welcomed donors to proliferate efforts.

Lorry driver Saravanan Rajah, 39, and his wife Rajaletchumi Maran, 34, expressed their gratitude to ISKCON for easing their financial burden.

“Each year, we spend about RM700 on school preparation items for our three children.

“This is the first time we are receiving help from anyone. We have only been devotees at ISKCON for nine months and we are very grateful for their aid,” said Rajaletchumi, who also works as a factory worker.

Having close to 35 centres in 11 states, ISKCON Malaysia is a spiritual movement that focuses on Vedic teachings and Hindu cultural traditions.

Volunteers and donors who would like to contribute to future aid projects, can contact ISKCON Kuala Lumpur at 0379807355/60 or visit http://www.iskconkl.org/

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