Around 327 Orang Asli families living in and around the Kg Punjut area in Johor were on the receiving end of a medical camp and gotong-royong event recently organised by the Sathya Sai Council of Johor and NGO Mari Kita Membaca (MKM).
The goodwill program, which saw the overhauling of a stale-looking village kindergarten, and also the delivery of dry goods for the villagers, was initiated by an invite from Kahang assemblyperson R Vidyanathan.
“We are also setting up a library for the children so that we can encourage them to develop reading habits,” said the Johor state coordinator for the Sathya Sai Council Govindan Karuppiah.
Govindan also revealed that this is not the first time the Sathya Sai council has collaborated with Vidyanathan.
“This is the fourth time he has invited us. We worked three times before in his constituency,” he added.
“The biggest challenges here is that the villagers are normally not aware of their own heath. But there response has been pretty good.”
Hordes of volunteers gathered around to refurbish the whole kindergarten with a new paint, including the playgrounds, and some were also seen painting cheerful icons in the learning room to brighten up the atmosphere.
Even 11-year-old S Sailesh did not miss out on helping.
“Yesterday when we came here the place looked different. Now it looks fresh. But there is still plenty to do here,” said the student from SJK (T) Taman Tun Aminah.
“I think this village is fortunate to receive such a program. I’m not sure if other villages are as lucky,” said Manjit Abdul Rahman, a resident at Kg Punjut.
After the medical camp, where children and adults alike were given vitamins and other form of supplements after a health screening, Vidyanathan handed over bulks of dry goods to selected families.