NEWS

TISI Sangam Invests $160,000 In Lunch Packs

Their chief executive officer Jai Narayan confirmed that they have invested more than $160,000 within eight weeks by providing lunches three times a week for those in need.
31 Jul 2020 15:11
TISI Sangam Invests $160,000 In Lunch Packs
Second from left Rakiraki TISI president San Gounder, TISI chief executive officer Jai Narayan, chairperson of the Sangam Education Board Neelesh Gounder and Penang Sangam High School principal Awinesh Sharma with Rakiraki TISI board members at Penang High School, Rakiraki on July 29, 2020. Photo: Susana Hirst-Tuilau

The Then India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam has decided to step up in times of crisis.

Their chief executive officer Jai Narayan confirmed that they have invested more than $160,000 within eight weeks by providing lunches three times a week for those in need.

“Just like our founder, who was from Rakiraki, Sadhu Kuppuswami, an ex-indentured labourer who has been a great influence to the association,” said Mr Narayan.

“In 1918, during the French flu Mr Kuppuswami stepped up by carrying those infected by the virus in a wheelbarrow from their homes to the then Penang Hospital.

“He was then recognised a community leader and this has left us today with big shoes to fill.”

Mr Narayan said when they first thought of the project, they were a bit hesitant. Then they realised that if they held back it would really affect families in need.

“So, we all agreed to start on the first-week school started and we have not regretted it as it has shown to have boosted morale,” he said.

Chairperson of the Sangam Education Board Neelesh Gounder, said through this initiative they had been able to lift a burden for most families who were struggling.

“The most affected places are the Western Division and we have seen the need to keep this project going,” said Mr Gounder.

He added that they have seen a difference in attendance because of this.

“More children are coming to school, especially on the days meals are provided and that shows us that we are doing good and that we need to engage more with those who really need it,” he said.

Because of this he said they were revising plans for Term Three to decide whether to keep feeding everyone or only focus on those who really need it.

Rakiraki TISI board members providing lunch packs at Penang High School, Rakiraki on July 29, 2020. Photo: Susana Hirst-Tuilau

Rakiraki TISI board members providing lunch packs at Penang High School, Rakiraki on July 29, 2020. Photo: Susana Hirst-Tuilau

Other projects

In the meantime, they have been able to give away more than 1000 food packs in the greater Nadi area.

The food packs have basic food needs like flour, sugar, rice and canned food items as well.

They will have another board meeting soon as they plan on announcing a bigger project they have been working on.

“Wait for our press release, but know that this is a bigger project that we hope will help benefit those in need of help,” he said.

Mr Narayan and Mr Gounder both agreed and said they were grateful to the donors, volunteers, teachers, principals and district representatives for the massive support.

“Without any of these people we would have not been able to have such a successful project,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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