Festive shopping joy for orphans

Fifteen-year-old Ranjitha Kaveri (centre) trying to choose bangles to go with her new Punjabi suit with help from Yoges Gopalan (right) from F&NHB.

Last Saturday was special for the children of Sri Sai orphanage as they were treated to a special Deepavali shopping treat at Ajuntha Textiles Klang courtesy of Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB).

The children, mostly abandoned and from underprivileged families, were given RM200 each to pick outfits of their choice with some help from F&NHB staff.

The fact that they do not get many opportunities to go shopping, let alone choose their own outfits, made the outing all the more exciting for the children.

“Deepavali is a special time for Hindus around the world. It is also a time for us to remember the less fortunate around us and to bring light into their lives. It has been six years since we began our Deepavali Shopping programme and each year, we look forward to seeing the kids' happiness as they choose their very own apparel. We hope this simple gesture will add to their revelry come Deepavali,” said F&NHB corporate affairs manager Cariessa Goh.

Sunderi Mohan’s eyes were fixed on the brightly-coloured lenghas and sequined sarees as she stepped into the Indian-costume store.

“They were all so beautiful. Although I didn’t buy them, I’m happy with my pick; two purple Punjabi suits,” said the 12-year-old.

Although she has stayed at Sri Sai for only three years, Sunderi said the children and caretakers have become her family.

“Living with 36 other ‘siblings’ is fun though the boys can be naughty at times. We do a lot of things together, especially during Deepavali like visiting the temple, kolam-making and even playing fire crackers,” said Sunderi, who hopes to be a doctor when she grows up.

For Sugumaran Mohan, shopping with the volunteers from F&NHB was a different experience. “I enjoyed shopping with F&N. The abang from F&N helped me pick out a red vesti and purple trousers which fit me very well,” said the 11-year-old.

The fun-filled day ended with a scrumptious vegetarian lunch at Chat Masala before the children headed back home with their shopping and gifts from Ajuntha Textiles.

Home coordinator Rameswary Rahvee expressed her appreciation to F&NHB for gifting the children with new clothes and giving them something to look forward to this Deepavali.

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