Reaching out to the needy

  • Nation
  • Monday, 17 Feb 2020

Spreading cheer: Vimalan (white shirt, near sign), Vimala (second right) and members of their team distributing flowers, food and goodies to less fortunate people in conjunction with Valentine’s Day at Komtar bus station in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Just three days after losing his first-born in 2017, a freelance tutor put aside his misery and was out distributing some provisions to a needy family in Jelutong.

C. Vimalan and his wife S. Vimala, both 38, had waited for five years for the arrival of their newborn.

“I guess it was God’s message to me to continue with my charity work.

“I have been helping the needy for about 10 years and when my wife got pregnant, we were contemplating stopping charity work and focus on our family.

“But when she was eight and half months into her pregnancy, we lost our baby. It was a big blow to us, ” he said.

Vimalan said the episode made him realised that he should continue helping people.

“My wife, who is a lawyer, also encouraged me to carry on doing good. We both immersed ourselves in charitable causes, ” he said when met near the Komtar bus terminal on Saturday.

The couple was distributing items to some 100 needy folks in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.

Vimalan said his passion to help others started during his school and university days in the United Kingdom.

Then, he served as a volunteer at a nursing home in Newcastle.

“I was inspired by Mother Teresa, whose teachings focused on boundless love for mankind.

“I try to follow such teachings the best I can, ” he said, adding that being a freelance tutor allowed him the time to carry out charitable work.

Normally, the couple would distribute food and other items to the homeless and needy on Thursdays.

“But since it is a special occasion, we decided to give away roses and perfume to the women to mark Valentine’s Day, ” he said.

The goodie bags also contained blankets, towels, ointments, medication, pastries and food.

Vimalan said he started out by helping poor cancer patients at first.

“Sometimes, we also travel to Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, parts of Selangor and Ipoh to distribute items to the needy, irrespective of race or religion.

“Initially, we used our own money to assist about 30 people.

“But now, with the help of family, friends and some charitable bodies such as Penang Community Care, we are able to reach out to 100 people, ” he said.

His wife Vimala said they had about 15 volunteers in different states to help them out.

“Our aim is to reach out to as many needy and poor people.

“We also offer guidance and assistance to those who wish to start their own businesses, such as single mothers.

“We are also looking for more volunteers to join our team so that more charity programmes can be carried out, ” she said.

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