Posts Tagged ‘Role Model’

Supermum Devigi

September 4th, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

husband has heart disease, brother-in-law bedridden, sister-in-law a diabetic, and all 3 kids having muscular dystrophy, but she didn’t give up!


THERE were several times when S. Devigi wanted to commit suicide after all three of her children were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

But her determination to provide the best for them stopped her.

“I don’t know how I got through it.

“I remember selling fried rice, noodles and thosai at night to pay for my children’s medical and educational expenses.

“It was a harrowing experience. I had thought about taking my own life but could not do it when I see my children’s faces,” said the teary-eyed Devigi when met at their dilapidated house at the JKR quarters.

Apart from taking care of her children, Devigi is also looking after her husband, V. Ugjayan, 52, who suffers from a heart disease, her bedridden brother-in-law and a diabetic sister-in-law.

However, the 53-year-old woman, dubbed as the “supermum” is now a happy mother.

Proud moment : (from left) Zuraidah, Devigi, her husband Ugjayan, Dr Rajendran and two other representatives of the NCM posing with a mock cheque with Devigi’s children on the wheelchair- (from left) Abby, Meghala and Gopi.Proud moment : (from left) Zuraidah, Devigi, her husband Ugjayan, Dr Rajendran and two other representatives of the NCM posing with a mock cheque with Devigi’s children on the wheelchair- (from left) Abby, Meghala and Gopi.

Her children, Nyanamambiga @ Abby, 27, Meghala, 26, and Gopi, 24, are all independent and are helping with the family’s expenses.

Abby works part-time as an executive administrator at the college where she is pursuing a Business degree, while Meghala designs greeting cards and sells them online.

Gopi, meanwhile, works part-time as a deejay at wedding receptions.

The family’s household income has now increased to between RM1,000 and RM1,500 compared to the few hundred ringgit Devigi earned in the past.

“I am happy to see my children earning money despite being wheelchair-bound.

“Thank God I did not give up and continued to fight,” Devigi said.

Devigi, who has stopped working, is now saving up to build a house on her husband’s land in Sungai Manggis, Banting.

The family is still in need of about RM60,000 to build the house.

Prof Dr M. Rajendran, who handles the family’s trust fund, said RM97,000 had since been collected from kind donors.

“Many have contributed to Devigi after her plight was highlighted by The Star.

The Star is one of the contibutors to Devigi’s family,” he said.

Northport Corporation Berhad (NCB) Holdings Bhd donated RM20,000 to the family recently.

Its director Datuk Zuraidah Atan, who handed over a mock cheque to Devigi, said the effort was part of NCB’s corporate social responsibility.

In March this year, The Star had highlighted Devigi’s life story, calling her a supermum for single-handedly taking care of her loved ones.

For information, contact Dr Rajendran at 012-229 4518.


Hema Lattha volunteers to teach young students

August 2nd, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

A refreshing story indeed. Amidst news of selfish and entertainment seeking new generation, we still get some news on selfless acts by the youths.

Its not easy to spend your weekend for the need of others, especially the underserved communities and the less privileged.

Reminds me of our projects in those days where we did similar activities for primary school students, taught at SMC, organised talks for secondary school students. Those were the days…


SHE is no ordinary teenager. While many of her age would spend the weekend hanging out with their friends, 18-year-old G. Hema Lattha dedicates her time guiding and teaching boys from the Divine Mercy Boys Home in Kepong.

Hema said she got a deep sense of satisfaction in teaching at the home.

She started in March by teaching some Year 3 and 4 children at the home two days a week. After some time, she started tutoring a Year 6 pupil, who had only started going to school at 10 years old.

Hema spends an average of two hours every Saturday coaching the boy in all subjects with special focus on Math and Science.

“There are challenges but when I see improvement in the student, I feel happy.

“In school, they put him in the weaker classes and sometimes those students do not get much attention. Here, I try to help him as much as I can.

“Every time I leave the home after my session, I am happy that I am able to contribute something to someone,” said the A-Level student from Help Academy, who lives in Bukit Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh.

Hema’s interest in voluntary work has a lot to do with her family, her involvement in the Interact Club while in school and her personal beliefs.

<b>Good use of her time:</b> Hema teaching some kids from the Divine Mercy Boys’ Home in Kepong.
Good use of her time: Hema teaching some kids from the Divine Mercy Boys’ Home in Kepong.

While her parents are very supportive of her work, her involvement in her school’s Interact Club was a crucial factor in her landing herself at the Divine Mercy Boys Home as she first learnt about the home through a friend during one of the club’s International Understanding Nights.

“That’s how I first got to know about the home. When I finished school, I wanted to do some voluntary work… I just wanted to help some people with what I have.

“My mother helped me to look for a few homes and my father will send me over to the home before I got my driver’s licence.

“It also has to do with my ambition since I want to be a doctor.

“Doctors help people, and I want to surround myself in such an environment where I can help people. I wanted to see if it was the right thing for me,” said Hema.

Apart from realising what she was capable of, her stint at the home had also opened her eyes to other things.

For instance, Hema is very touched by how the boys at the home view life.

“Some of these boys know why they are in the home. But that doesn’t bring down their spirit as they are always happy and positive about life.

“It is great to see that they are so happy and content with what they have and I am glad to learn that from them,” explained Hema, adding that she would be teaching her student until he sat for his UPSR later this year.

Hema was also very thankful to the home coordinators for giving her a chance to help out at the home as it was a big learning experience for her.

The Divine Mercy Boys Home is in need of voluntary tuition teachers for its Year 2, 3 and 4 children in the subjects of Math, Science and Bahasa Melayu.

Teachers are needed during weekdays, preferably after 7pm. For details, contact 03-6272 3568.


Rama Murthi and Sri Arivesh win prize in Genius Olympiad

July 4th, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

Syabas to these two boys!

GEORGE TOWN: Two 14-year-old students from SMK Kulim, S. Rama Murthi and R. Sri Arivesh, have done the country proud by winning a prize in the Genius Olympiad 2012 International High School Project Fair on Environment, in New York.

They won third place with their creation of an alarm system called “Neighbours Wonder”, in the competition participated by 246 students from 50 countries, which was held from June 24 to 29.

The gadget can help emergency users to ask for help from their neighbours when the wireless alarm system is installed parallel with other houses in a residential area.

Rama Murthi said the idea to develop the system was in line with the 1Malaysia concept mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as it could foster the spirit of cooperation among neighbours, regardless of race.

“We spent about RM300 to create this alarm system and are proud to have won,” said Sri Arivesh.

Both were the youngest participants, compared to the others who were between 16 and 17.


Sugan the PSD scholar who nearly didnt make it to France

July 4th, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

A very touching story. Boy from poor family gets place to study in France. Straight As JPA  scholar Sugan Selvarajah didnt have money to buy initial clothes etc. Didnt give up but went to Malacca govt CM office to ask help, and succeeded!

And read about how he improved his English. From old newspaper collected by his mom for recycling! Puts most of us to shame for the excuses we give. Really touching to read about it.

Kudos to the parent for their responsibility and state govt for support.

But PSD (JPA) should have been proactive to help such cases in 1st place. Must improve the system.

Good luck to Sugan!


[click for larger image]


Image from pg 10 The Star today.

2 young EWRF volunteers talk about their experience

June 21st, 2012
|  Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe to by Email

Hats off to the volunteers! Its not easy to get support from youths and adults nowadays. Even myself have reduced volunteerism time alot due to other commitments.

EWRF has been doing some good programs for last 30 over years. Hopefully they will continue with their good programs and we can try to support as much as possible.


VOLUNTEERISM is like an addiction; once you feel the high from reaping your efforts, it is difficult to get out of it. Or, at least, that’s the view of two young men.

When almost everyone else their age are busy partying on weekends, Kartick Arumugam, 25, and Ketheswaaran Nadarajah, 22, have their schedules packed with tutoring and coaching young children. Being beneficiaries of kind hearts themselves, the duo are carrying on the torch by dedicating their time and effort to help others in need.

Kartick, a final-year dentistry student, recalled how difficult times were for him and his family after his father passed away when he was 17 years old. Just as he was about to embark on his tertiary studies, his family was hit by a financial crisis.

While looking for help, I came across an NGO who was willing to partially support my studies and I took up the offer. — KARTICK ARUMUGAM

“While looking for help, I came across an NGO who was willing to partially support my studies and I took up the offer. I realised what an important role these types of organisations play in people’s lives, and it naturally came upon me to give back to the community,” he said.

As for Ketheswaaran, his father played a vital role in instilling the value of dedication and compassion.

“My father was a very dedicated discipline teacher, working in a school with a high record of problematic students. I grew up watching how he would go all out even during his off days to visit his students and their parents to ensure that they were doing well.

“True enough, the school’s discipline records got better by the year and I believe my father played a big role in the change of behaviour. I saw that these children needed attention and with the right approach, they can change for the better,” he said.

Although being a teacher’s son, Ketheswaaran would not say that he was an exemplary child.

“I gave my father a hard time too with my unfavourable antics,” he said, adding that he attended a different school.

Good choice: Ketheswaaran (second from left) guiding parents on tertiary study options for their children.

“I was enrolled in a “mentor-mentee” programme which brought about changes in my behaviour. Since the mentor was someone older but still in my age range, my friends and I tend to look to him for guidance and he influenced us in a good way,” he said.

The duo are now part of the team at Educational, Welfare and Research Foundation (EWRF), a charitable NGO dedicated to assisting the less privileged Indian students in the country.

Kartick, who leads the team of volunteers in Subang, explained that they work by assigning a team to cover an area.

“A programme can kick off once we can gather a pool of volunteers to work in a specific area. We are starting with the young ones by working with Tamil schools to identify Year One and Two pupils who are struggling with the English language. These pupils are then enrolled for free English tuition conducted by us.

“The English language plays a vital role in instilling confidence in them to communicate with the other races, and prepare them for equal participation once they step into secondary school.

“We also have a 21-day camp for Year Six pupils after the UPSR examinations. The activities instill good values and self-confidence to ensure a smoother transition to secondary school,” he said.

Ketheswaaran leads the team of volunteers in Ampang.

“We also have an innovative programme to prevent youths from getting involved in crime. Similar to mentor-mentee programmes, a team of volunteers will have regular sporting activities like football training during the weekends at the school to encourage the boys to participate.

“Generally, boys are very interested in sports and we find that this is a good way to inculcate good values like punctuality and self-discipline. We have a system of rewarding them, with gifts like sports merchandise, for good conduct and the response has been encouraging.

“Not only does sporting activities tire them out in a healthy way, it also deters them from joining bad company,” said Ketheswaaran.

Besides that, EWRF conducts personality tests for students from all races from Form Three to Five to guide them on their career path.

“I personally would have benefited from this test as I recently found my interest to be linked with management, but I am currently pursuing a degree in civil engineering. Many are unaware of the various career choices available and only stick to the famous professions.

“We also coordinate the placement of underachieving students in government skills-training institutes,” he added.

Established in January 1979, EWRF holds a mission to promote education as key for advancement in the community and generate a sense of self worth as well as discipline, which in turn encourages greater participation in the social and economic development of the nation.

Initially, the activities were directed more towards medium and high-achieving students to improve and maintain their social behaviour and progress in education. However, the focus has been switched to the under-achievers in view of the increasing number of school dropouts and rise in juvenile and criminal activities.

EWRF is based in Kuala Lumpur and has 23 branches throughout the country. The headquarters is at 3rd floor, Wisma RA, 12 Jalan Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur. Many programmes are running concurrently throughout the year.

To sign up as a volunteer and for more details, call 03-2693 4671/03-2693 4672 or the toll-free number 1800 883 973 or visit