27 June 2015 – The Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) launched its “Celebrate!” project 2015 to spread the Hari Raya festive cheer to needy families. Under this scheme, low-income families are presented with vouchers to subsidise their festive celebrations. This year, 300 low-income Indian Muslim families identified by the SINDA Family Service Centre will benefit from this project. Each of these families will receive NTUC vouchers worth $100.
SINDA distributes festive gift vouchers annually to low-income families during the major festive seasons – Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas. Through this exercise, some 1,200 low-income families benefit yearly. This initiative, executed in partnership with corporate and community organisations, saw nine volunteer groups joining hands with SINDA in spreading the festive cheer to beneficiaries.
Said Mr K Barathan, CEO, SINDA: “This festive gift-giving allows SINDA to provide timely assistance to families in need by mobilising volunteers to reach out to the underprivileged in the community. This is a community effort and it is heartening to see volunteer companies come forward to selflessly giving their time in reaching out to our beneficiaries”.
The following volunteer groups came together for this good cause – Aflaaq Stars Education and Cultural Society, Singapore Kadayanallur Muslim League (SKML), United Indian Muslim Association of Singapore (UIMA), Singapore Tenkasi Muslim Welfare Society, Sai Action for Family Relief and Needy (Saffron), Singai Tamil Sangam, Hindu Sabai, Credit Suisse and Citibank.
The nine volunteer groups received the gift-packs from Associate Prof Mohammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary, Minister of Health and Ministry of Transport. “I am very happy that SINDA is giving, sharing, and caring for the communities during the different festive periods. With Hari Raya coming, I think the festive gift packs will give a lot of joy to the recipients and it is a very important gesture because we live in a multiracial society and although SINDA has been doing this for many years, it is more meaningful this year because of SG50. With the volunteers coming on board, the whole process is enriched and made beautiful as it is not only about giving but getting people and organisations together to bring joy to individuals and families”, added Prof Faishal who graced the occasion.
In the coming weeks, these volunteers will distribute the gift-packs island-wide. One such volunteer is Mr Raja Mohamed, who heads Five Pillars Pte Ltd. Having been involved in the Celebrate! Project for the 8th consecutive year, Mr Raja, who is also the General Secretary of SKML, believes that social upliftment is every individual’s personal responsibility.
He says: “By being involved in this project, many of our volunteers develop a better understanding of the needs within the community. It is important that we develop greater empathy and fulfil our responsibility towards those who are less fortunate.”