"Hands That Serve Is Holier Than Lips That Pray"
God bless you guys.
Seva at Gelang Patah Tamil School
Gelang Patah Tamil School Seva
Sai Ram Uncle Govind,
On my way up to KL yesterday with my family, I stopped by “our” Tamil School in Gelang Patah to drop off the first cheque for the feeding and transportation program for the Std. 6 students. The headmistress, Mdm. Komothi and her assistant were there to receive us and were very appreciative of the contribution and help that our Sai Sevadal team is offering. I could almost see this look of disbelief in her eyes when I wrote out the cheque for the amount collected thus far and passed it to her. If I could mind read, my bet would be that she was telling herself “I didn’t think that these guys were this serious to help. Who are these people?!?”.
After collecting the receipt, the headmistress took me around to meet all the students who were busy with their studies. We walked into the Std. 6 class and she then introduced me to the students. I told her that my Tamil was weak and it would be better if she did the talking. The interaction between the headmistress and the students which melted my heart and re-affirmed that what we were doing was truly Swami’s work is as follows:
Headmistress: “Class, stand up and say hello”
Students: “Vanakaam ayah!”
Headmistress (in Tamil): “Class, do you know this Uncle?”
Students: “No teacher”
Headmistress: “Have you seen him before?”
Students: “No teacher”
Headmistress: “Did you like your cow’s milk this morning?”
Students: “Yes teacher!”
Headmistress: “And what did you have for lunch yesterday?”
Students: “Fish & rice teacher! It was very good!”
Headmistress: “Yes, and you will be having chicken curry with vegetables today. This uncle and his group of volunteers are the ones that paid for your lunch and breakfast. You will be getting this everyday from now till your UPSR exams in September. Do you know why they are doing this?”
One of the girls raises her hand and says: “So that we can study hard and do well in our UPSR exams teacher.”
Headmistress: “Yes. You must study hard and do well ok. Only then can you progress in life and achieve your dreams. What do you want to become when you grow up?”
Students: “Doctor! Engineer! Pilot! Teacher!”
Headmistress: “So many people want to see all of you do well. Your parents, us teachers and also complete strangers like this Uncle and his friends. Will you promise this uncle that you will study hard and do well in your UPSR exams?”
Students (Standing up, they raise their right hand in oath taking fashion): “We promise to study hard and do well in our UPSR exams. We will not let our parents and teachers down. We promise to get 7As!”
By this time, I was fighting to hold back my tears. I thanked the students and quickly left the classroom. She then took me around to the rest of the classes. All the students looked so bright, cheerful and wide-eyed. They were excited to see me as I walked into the classes to be greeted with the same “Vanakaam Ayah!” One can begin to understand the joy that Swami must feel from the outpouring of love from his own students!
Mdm. Komothi reminded me that almost 50% of the students come from hardcore poor families and the rest are either low or middle income. Some of them come from broken families and she pointed out a Std. 3 boy whose mother is a drunk. He looked extremely malnourished and skinny. His frame was that of a 3 year old instead of the 9 years that he is supposed to be. She reminded me that without a proper education, they would most likely end up following their parents footsteps and the UPSR exam was in an important first step and confidence builder to boost their self esteem and push them through secondary school and hopefully into university and a better future. She was very grateful for the help that we planned to render and is hopeful that we can sustain the activities for years to come.
We talked about the Motivational & Medical camp on the 27th of July. She said that only Std. 4, 5 & 6 students will be coming (50 students). She is hopeful about this batch of Std. 6 students doing well in their exams but is really worried about the current batch of the Std. 4 & 5 pupils. She plans on inviting all the parents (Std. 1 to 6) to attend the 27th and said that it would be around 70 adults (if all attend). Her request was for the Medical & Motivational camp to run concurrently. A rough agenda that she proposed is as follows:
8:00am: Students Motivational Talk (Games, stories, personal experiences, prayers, bhajans, etc.)
Parents Medical Screening
11:00am: Students Medical Screening
Parents Motivational Talk
12:00pm: Joint parents & students session
We can discuss this further on the 18th when we meet uncle. I’ve managed to get 2 doctors to volunteer their time for the 27th so far. Looking to get more. Will know for sure by the 18th.