My friends and I were on our way to a Children's Day Celebration at a Tamil Primary School. This school was located in a oil palm plantation just a few miles from Seremban.
It was a picturesque scene with the school on a hill, a Hindu Temple at the edge of a big green field and a community hall at the other end. Our car drove up to the community hall.
The ladies were thrilled to meet the excited children. We were delighted to meet them as they were our adopted children and we were their adopted mothers. We gave them financial aid and books and encouraged them to study hard.
It was a 3 year programme initiated by members of the Convent Past Pupils Association Seremban. Our members adopted them from Standard 4 to Standard 6. The participants were the students, parents, teachers and our members. It was for the benefit of the students. We were there to help them by meeting them, their parents and teachers.
It was our last gathering and we were happy to meet them. My adopted daughter was Meena (not her real name). She was a bright student. Meena, her monther and I were talking, when suddenly Meena ran out through the door. She soon returned holding a little boy by his hand. "He is my brother Kumar" (not his real name) said Meena when she came near the table. He sat next to her. I observed with curiosity as she pushed her cup of tea, cakes and puffs towards Kumar. I realised in a flash - it was the power of love that led her to such an action. How could she enjoy her tea and cakes while her brother would have none. I then gave my tea and cakes, and as for me - a vigilant teacher brought me my tea.
When I mentioned this incident to the Headmistress, she told us the details about Meena's family. The plantation manager gave them financial assistance as Meena had no father and her mother was sickly, and was unable to do the housework. Meena was the one who prepared the meals for the family. Despite such conditions, she did well in her studies. Such love, diligence and compassion needs to be commended.
The talking and laughter quietened as the Headmistress addressed the gathering. She praised the students for their achievement and progress in their studies, thanked the teachers for their hard work, the parents for their co-operation and the "adopted mothers" for their great commitment to the cause of education.
Thinking very seriously I am certain that the project was a great success due to the effort put in by all concerned. However, I wish to record that the cooperation given helped the students a great deal. "Love" was the basis of giving and sharing for the progress of the individual in a community and the society at large.
Saroja Dev Param