Posted on 10 October 2014

Klang’s Little India was a sight to behold as throngs of shoppers invaded the popular street looking for great bargains in textile shops and jewellery stores. Parents with their children in tow hurried from shop to shop looking for new outfits for their young ones in anticipation of the upcoming Deepavali celebration.

However for 11-year-old Sri Svwetha, the interesting sights of Jalan Tengku Kelana’s bustling street had taken her breath away for the very first time. Colourful garments, loud upbeat music and the smell of delicious Indian candy filled her with fascination as she and 11 others from Sayang Children’s Home (Rumah Jagaan Kanak-Kanak Sayang) went on a special shopping spree courtesy of F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd.

The children received a right royal treat as the two-storey Ajuntha Textiles store opened its doors early to allow the children the whole store exclusively to themselves. Each child with a sum of RM200, explored the aisles looking for new Deepavali outfits with some help from the kind ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ from F&N Beverages Marketing.

The children; most abandoned and of underprivileged families, excitedly anticipated the day trip as many of them have never had the opportunity to go shopping and empowered to pick out their own outfits.

“Deepavali is a time when families come together to prepare for the celebration. Many of the children of Sayang Children’s Home won’t be able to experience that with their own families but that does not mean they shouldn’t experience it at all. Through our programme, we hope to brighten up their Deepavali festivity and let them know that F&N cares for them too,” said Cariessa Goh, Corporate Affairs Manager of F&N Beverages Marketing.   

The fourth edition of the F&N Beverages Deepavali Shopping Programme began with some light breakfast and soon after the children excitedly made their rounds through the Indian costume haven, spotting their favourite traditional outfits in their preferred design and colours.  

Thirteen-year-old Karthienie Barani couldn’t hide her excitement upon arrival at the colourful textile haven. “I am really looking forward to this shopping opportunity. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep well for the last few days. With so many choices of patterns and styles in the store, I can’t decide which to choose!” she said excitedly.

Sayang Children’s Home director Madam Muthuletchumi expressed her heartfelt appreciation to F&N Beverages for spreading cheer and giving the children something to look forward to this Deepavali.

According to Kharthigasan, a caretaker at the Home, the children were overjoyed when they were told they could choose their new clothes for this Deepavali. “Some of our kids have never experienced the joy of this season because of their difficult family circumstances. It makes this shopping event very special,” he said.

Kharthigasan also added that the children held their chaperones’ hands the entire time and asked them to help pick out the clothes and gifts they wanted. “It was one of the most heart-warming days of the year to see the children happy – forgetting about the pain of their past and looking forward to a future,” he added.

The fun-filled day ended with a scrumptious vegetarian lunch at before the heading back to the home with their respective bags and goodies.

“We hope that the children enjoyed the day out as much as we did getting to know them. Seeing the glowing smiles on their faces gives us much joy to know that we were able to touch them in some small way and raise their spirits during the festive season,” said Cariessa.

Founded in 2007, Sayang Children’s Home serves as a shelter for abandoned children and those from underprivileged environment. The Home takes care of their education up to the SPM level while offering a healthy environment to nurture positive growth. The home has also provided assistance to several of the older residents to secure jobs upon finishing their studies.


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