An­gel to those with spe­cial needs

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PE­TAL­ING JAYA: To those who have been touched by her self­less kind­ness, Angela Devi Ariyan (pix) is an “an­gel”.

The 59-year-old MyHero Award 2.0 re­cip­i­ent has been tak­ing care of in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial needs since 2002, at the ex­pense of her per­sonal time, money and strength.

Angela Devi founded the Vi­nashini Home, a cen­tre for the dis­abled, in Kuala Sawah, Serem­ban. It is cur­rently a place for 63 less for­tu­nate peo­ple of var­i­ous races who call it home.

As­sisted by her 66-yearold hus­band, Keris­nan and three chil­dren, Angela has been teach­ing the res­i­dents of the home to walk, speak and be in­de­pen­dent.

“Most of those in the home were aban­doned by their fam­i­lies, come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds and have var­i­ous med­i­cal con­di­tions,” she said, adding the first in­mate to be ac­cepted was a hy­per­ac­tive 7-yearold child.

Those in the home now are aged be­tween nine and 80, and suf­fer from prob­lems like men­tal re­tar­da­tion, speech im­ped­i­ment and autism.

The home used to ac­cept or­phans in the past but has stopped do­ing so “due to lo­gis­tics prob­lem,” she said, adding some or­phans ran away.

How­ever, there are three or­phans still liv­ing in the home. They have been there since young and are now pur­su­ing their ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion. Angela Devi has also faced ob­sta­cles in her work to as­sist the needy. For in­stance, the home had to be re­lo­cated sev­eral times fol­low­ing com­plaints by res­i­dents who were dis­turbed by the noise of the in­mates.

Apart from this, per­sonal time is a lux­ury for Angela Devi.

Since open­ing the home, she has not had time for a hol­i­day and fam­ily out­ings.

Fi­nance is also a ma­jor chal­lenge, as Angela needs over RM20,000 monthly to run the home.

“We de­pend on do­na­tions but the amount has been de­creas­ing in re­cent years. Our fund­ing has been cut by al­most half but still strive hard to con­tinue run­ning the home,” she said.

De­spite the chal­lenges, Angela will not cease to per­form her so­cial obli­ga­tions.

While tak­ing care of th­ese spe­cial peo­ple is not an easy task, her re­ward is see­ing the con­di­tions of those un­der her care im­prov­ing which is enough to boost her spirit.

The MyHero Award 2.0 was jointly or­gan­ised by the Chi­nese Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try of Kuala Lumpur and Se­lan­gor and Nanyang Siang Pau.

It is sup­ported by the Na­tional Unity and In­te­gra­tion Depart­ment, The As­so­ci­ated Chi­nese Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try of Malaysia with cor­po­rate part­ner Sun­suria Bhd and spon­sor, Bank of China. – by Haikal Jalil

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