Angel to those with special needs
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