NGO helps the disabled fulfil their vows during Thaipusam


TUK members helping a wheelchair-bound devotee up the temple’s 272 steps.

FOR Thaipusam on Jan 25, non-governmental organisation (NGO) Tamilan Uthavum Karangkal (TUK) will continue to help persons with disabilities (PWD) of Hindu faith to perform their vows without difficulty while at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves for the celebration.

TUK founder Dr Muraly Arumugam said this would be the NGO’s 25th year of carrying out social activities and it would continue to assist PWDs who needed help.

“On my father’s 50th birthday, I took a PWD up the 272 steps of this temple to perform prayers in conjunction with Thaipusam. And from that time, I have been determined to contribute towards the Indian community in Malaysia,” he told Bernama.

Dr Muraly (standing, right) and Tunikara Sdn Bhd Global managing director R. Puvaneswari (standing, left) with aid recipients during the Repeat Charity Celebration Programme 25th Silver Jubilee at Batu Caves. — Photos: BernamaDr Muraly (standing, right) and Tunikara Sdn Bhd Global managing director R. Puvaneswari (standing, left) with aid recipients during the Repeat Charity Celebration Programme 25th Silver Jubilee at Batu Caves. — Photos: Bernama

TUK has been operating since 1999 with the aim of helping the Malaysian Indian community through social programmes such as helping the PWDs during the Thaipusam celebration.

With the involvement of over 300 volunteers, TUK continues to be a pillar in ensuring that every individual, regardless of physical disability, could experience the Thaipusam festival without any obstacles.

In conjunction with the upcoming Thaipusam, TUK recently donated food to 2,000 devotees at the Batu Caves temple in Gombak as well as handed out RM50 to each of the PWDs who number about 85.

TUK Youth vice-leader K. Katiravan, 35, said he had been a volunteer with the organisation for 10 years.

TUK members helping the disabled up the stars at Batu Caves. — BernamaTUK members helping the disabled up the stars at Batu Caves. — Bernama

He joined TUK through his father, who is also a disabled person, and was motivated to join the organisation when he witnessed the volunteers helping to lift other PWDs up the steps.

“There are some people who do not have the opportunity to go up the steps to pay homage to (Hindu god) Lord Murugan. So, we (volunteers) carry them up to help them fulfil their vows,” he said.

“I am filled with happiness and emotion when I see the PWDs returning with tears in their eyes after paying homage and fulfilling their vows to Lord Murugan.”

Thaipusam is celebrated in the Thai month, the 10th month in the Tamil calendar, which usually falls in January or February to commemorate Goddess Parvati giving her son Lord Murugan a divine spear, the “vel”, to vanquish the demon Soorapadman and restore prosperity and wellbeing to humanity.

In some places, there will be a Thaipusam procession that involves devotees carrying kavadi, which are decorated structures, as a sign of sacrifice and respect for Lord Murugan.

Additionally, in preparation for Thaipusam, Hindus usually fast and participate in various religious activities to purify themselves.

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