Posts Tagged ‘NGO’

MyIndians doing their work to solve citizenship issues

January 15th, 2012
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Had the pleasure of volunteering with MyIndians last year for education workshop. They are also focusing on citizenship issues, so this is another avenue for community to get help. Contact them at www.myindians.com or click on MyIndians link at the sidebar of this website.

Statelessness — in which a person is without nationality or citizenship — is a social problem in Malaysia in which the numbers involved remain vague.

According to sources, there might be up to half a million unregistered and unrecognised Indians here.

However, since October last year, an independent portal, MyIndians.com, has been acting as a connecting medium for Stateless Indians to help each other.

Despite carrying out its work with little fanfare, the website accumulated 20,000 registered members and garners about 125,000 visitors a month.

The portal is manned by a team of less than a dozen officers, led by author-columnist Datin Vasanthi Ramachandran.

“Over the past year, we have helped about 3,000 cases, most of them concerning birth certificates and MyKad issues,” she said.

“Many of these Stateless Indians are poorly informed and live in fear of being found out, and it takes a lot of effort to convince them to trust us so we could help them.”

MyIndians.com promotes a community-helps-community concept via its “Helping Hands” section, where those in need of financial, educational or medical assistance can file in their cases which are then highlighted on the website for registered members to help.

When The Malay Mail visited MyIndians’ office in Jalan Desa Kiaramas, Mont Kiara, recently, Vasanthi and her team were preparing a holiday education programme for academically under-performing children, aged 10 to 15.

“Most of these children only know Tamil. They have little communication skills, so they have problems expressing themselves. We have come up with a fun, interactive programme so they don’t get bored and, at the same time, are inspired by what they learn,” said Vasanthi.

“We are doing what we can but more members of the community need to come forward and help, too.”

Cases resolved by ‘MyIndians.com’

• TWIN boys Kenny Jayraj Selvaraj and Kevin Suraj Selvaraj, 14, were adopted when they were just a few days old, by Selvaraj Amalraj and Josephine Retnam. The siblings were given up by their 17-year-old mother who was unable to care for them as she did not have Malaysian citizenship, resulting in the twins being issued red identification cards. The boys have since applied for citizenship on two occasions but their applications were rejected by the National Registration Department (NRD).

However, after discussing the matter with NRD officers and with the assistance of MyIndians.com staff, Selvaraj was advised to track down the twins’ biological parents. Their biological mother was traced, allowing for the necessary changes to be made to their birth certificates. The twins have now been awarded citizenship.

• Sarveswaran Saravanan, 13, had not been attending school as he did not have a birth certificate or identification card. Sarveswaran also could not be registered as his natural father was unreachable.

His mother, Packiam Gopal, was hesitant to seek assistance for fear of being penalised for not providing relevant information pertaining to the boy’s father. However, with the help of MyIndians.com, both mother and son have since submitted their application and been interviewed by the NRD.

• Sudagar Sadrasagaran, 31, never applied for a MyKad due to financial and personal issues. Also, his natural mother could not contacted. To obtain a birth certificate from the NRD, it is compulsory to have information on the applicant’s mother. With the help of MyIndians.com, the required documents were successfully traced. He is now a proud owner of a MyKad.

• Santiyah Mugunthan, aged four, could not be registered as her parents’ “marriage” was not legally binding. MyIndians.com provided assisted to the family by linking them to the relevant agencies, including the Social Welfare Department. Santiyah’s parents are now all smiles as Santiyah finally has a birth certificate.

• Suganthan Manivanan, aged one, was registered without his father’s details as his parents separated and, due to personal reasons, his father refused to cooperate. MyIndians.com discussed this case with the NRD and since then, both of Suganthan’s parents have registered their marriage. The authorities agreed to make the necessary amendments to the child’s birth certificate.

• Kaithiri Vengathiyah, 12, was given up for adoption because of financial restraints. Vengatiyah Chandariah and Sellamah Polliah raised Kaithiri as their own when she was only a few days old. Due to the lack of information on the biological parents, Kaithiri never received a birth certificate.

MyIndians.com advised her foster parents to track down the biological mother, who then gave consent enabling the NRD to proceed. Kaithiri received her birth certificate last month and is now due to receive her MyKad, too.

source: http://mmail.com.my/content/86444-website-help-indians

31 Dec deadline for govt fund applications via MIC

November 29th, 2011
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Do spread the word around. Hope the schools, NGOs and temples are aware of this.

 All state MIC liaison committees have until Dec 31 to submit applications for Federal Government allocations to assist Tamil schools as well as Indian places of worship and NGOs in the respective states.

MIC president Datuk G. Palanivel said the deadline was to enable funds to be disbursed next year.

After receiving the applications, MIC’s headquarters would prepare a budget for allocations to be given out, either once or twice a year.

“It is difficult when they keep asking us for funds all year round.

“We cannot be going to the Prime Minister’s Department every now and then asking for allocations on their behalf,” he said after presenting RM185,000 in federal aid to six temples, a church and an NGO at the Penang state library auditorium here yesterday.

Palanivel, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said once he knew the amount, it would be easier to obtain the allocation.

He said the money was usually for minor projects such as repairs and extensions, upgrading of toilets, electrical wiring, water pipes and drainage systems as well as for community programmes.

He encouraged Indian community leaders to contact MIC division leaders in their respective areas to submit proposal papers for the projects they planned to carry out.

“Some temples and NGOs miss out on the allocations because they submit their applications late and all the funds have been disbursed,” he said.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/11/14/nation/9898174&sec=nation

PLRK offers courses for underprivileged women

November 29th, 2011
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Good initiative to help the underprivileged women to learn new skills and improve their livelihood.

 

THE first day of every life-changing event is a significant part of our lives, and so was the first day at work for Jayamary Balakrishnan, a 28-year-old orphan, as a wedding make-up artist.

Jayamary Balakrishnan spent the first 18 years of her life in an orphanage and never stepped into a school because her guardians only found her birth certificate much later in life.

Useful skill: PLRK also conducts sewing classes and can take up to 15 students at a time.

“I never had my first day in school experience and my childhood was mostly spent in the home. I was longing for an opportunity to learn something and be independant.

“Being a woman, I naturally began to have a liking for grooming. Ever since I stepped out of the home to live on my own, I have been looking to enrol in make-up and grooming courses but the fees were very expensive and I could not afford it.

“My friend suggested I apply to Pusat Latihan Rakyat Kasih (PLRK) and the rest is history,” she said.

Jayamary is one of eight underprivileged women, the second batch of students, to successfully graduate from the six-month bridal make-up course conducted at PLRK located in Taman Desaria, Petaling Jaya by Persatuan Kebajikan Kasih (PKK).

“My first customer was a bride in Malacca on Oct 28. She was my first customer and I was nervous at first, but once I started, concentration kicked in and my nervousness went away.

We did it: Jayamary (right) with fellow graduates (from left) Anusiadevi Jaimadi, Valarmathii Ketapa, Alagi Alagesu, Sagunthala Kumari Krishnan, Anthoniamma Aruldass and Manimegalai Paneerselvaom holding their certificates.

“It gives me great satisfaction to have the privilege to make a woman look ravishingly beautiful on the most important day of her life.

“My customer was happy and I was more than happy to pocket a handsome RM2,200 which is a big sum of money for me. What more can I ask for and I am doing what I love,” she said, adding that she would continue to pursue the advance bridal make-up course at the training centre.

The bridal make-up course is conducted by trainer Thevagi Segar.

“During the bridal make-up course, I teach the basic five steps in preparing an Indian bride for her big day which includes threading, facial, saree tying, hair styles and make-up. Once the essentials are mastered, the students have the option to further enhance their skill by learning henna drawing and others.

“These skills need practice to become perfect and therefore every class is conducted on a practical basis. I believe with perseverance, these women will pull through,” she said.

PKK president Peter A Dass said their members believe in the importance of education as a foundation to sustain oneself in the current economic situation.

“We started a girls’ home five years ago and found that many women especially single mothers find it difficult to make ends meet. Learning additional skills will help them to earn extra income thus improving their living standards.

“We are also currently conducting sewing classes followed by advance classes to supplement, and hope to kick off the basic computer classes early next year. We charge a nominal fee of not more than RM100 per month to instill a sense of commitment,” he said.

Guest of honour, Senator S. Ramakrishnan presented the certificates to the students.

“Learning skills is a very importance aspect in determining one’s sosio-ecomonic status.

“There are about four million legal and illegal unskilled foreigh workers, so the unskilled Malaysian will be competing with this group.

“A developed country should have 40% of skilled workers but Malaysia only has 28%, which shows that we have a long way to go.

“Bridal make-up is a ready market, so go out and make yourselves become one of the best groomers,” he said

For details on PLRK, contact 03-91307934/ 03-91306166.

 

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/11/25/central/9944510&sec=central

Youth to be defined as aged between 18 and 25

November 17th, 2011
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I think 9 years is too long. A 4 year period will suffice as I think all societies/organisations would at least have their AGMs within a three year period.

 

Only those aged 18 to 25 will be defined as youth under a new National Youth Policy.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the proposal to change the current definition of “youth” from those aged 18 to 40 years old to 18 to 25 years old was in line with international standards.

“The United Nations’ definition of youth’ is 15 to 24 years old while the Commonwealth’s is 15 to 29 years old.

“We are defining those below 25 years old as youth’,” he said after opening the second National Youth Consultative Council meeting here yesterday.

Ahmad Shabery said the draft policy would replace the old one introduced in 1997.

“This means that by 2020, only those aged between 18 and 25 years old can be members and hold office in youth organisations.

“Before we set the current limit of 40 years old, we had office bearers of youth organisations who were more than 50 years old.

“It took three years for most organisations to comply with the rule.

“Now, we are giving youth organisations nine years to make the change so they have time to prepare,” he said.

While the draft policy still needs Cabinet approval, Ahmad Shabery said the “youth” age revision was in tandem with the liberalisation of regulations that govern student participation in youth organisations outside the school or university campus.

“In the past, students were not allowed to participate in organisations outside the campus.

“Now, they can take part in non-political organisations. However, many do not realise that,” he said.

Ahmad Shabery hoped that the change would encourage more young people to assume leadership positions in the country.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/11/17/nation/9918718&sec=nation

Healthy food in canteens by CAP

November 6th, 2011
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This is very interesting article. I think this is a good effort. Perhaps other schools should be roped in to promote such traditional food.

SESAME seed balls and beetroot juice are among the healthy food choices which could be introduced at school canteens to replace junk food and carbonated drinks.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) education officer N.V. Subbarow said such traditional food and beverages are rich in nutrients and would help to counter the problem of obesity among primary schoolchildren.

“Obesity would lead to diseases that will affect our future generations who are the hope of our country,” he said at a healthy food campaign at SJK(T) Prai.

Subbarow said sesame seed balls are a rich source of calcium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, vitamin E and fibre.

“A handful of sesame seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk,” he said, adding that sesame seeds are good for women, especially in their menopausal stage.

Rich in nutrients: Subbarow (right) with CAP education officer Suseela (standing left) showing SJK(T) Prai pupils how to prepare the sesame seed balls.

He said beetroot is a natural detoxifier and blood purifier, a good antioxidant and rich in iron, which improves blood circulation and prevents anaemia.

Subbarow added that beetroot has a high content of vitamin C and B, and is rich in fibre and folic acid, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation.

At the event yesterday, teachers and pupils learned about the preparation of sesame balls and beetroot juice during a demonstration by CAP education officer N. Suseela.

She made the sesame balls by grinding jaggery or gula Melaka together with sesame seeds.

A demonstration on how to make beetroot drink.

Subbarow said CAP was planning to hold a similar event for school canteen operators soon to teach them to prepare healthy food, as they had a list of healthy food preparations for schoolchildren.

Headmistress T. Lakshmi thanked CAP for their continuous support to the school.

She said the healthy food campaign is beneficial as it is cheap and easy to prepare.

She added that the CAP’s natural farm in the school is already bearing fruit as they have harvested vegetables from the organic farm it helped create in August.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/11/4/north/9833906&sec=North