KUALA LUMPUR: About 250 homeless people in the city got to feel the joy of Deepavali celebration when they were feted to a “Jom Diwali” event organised by the Onn Ja’afar Institute (IOJ) today.
Its chief executive office, Charles Mohan, said the programme was aimed at giving “light’ to the homeless so that they would not feel neglected by the society.
“Normally, they (homeless) don’t go anywhere and have no activity on public holiday , so IOJ took the initiative to celebrate Deepavali with them,” he told reporters at the Transit Centre for the Homeless (PTG) at Jalan Pahang here.
The homeless were served with various delicacies, including chapati, chicken curry and dal, and putu mayan, sponsored by Park Royal Hotel and treated to performance by student volunteers from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak and KDU University College.
Meanwhile, Pasupathy Krishnan, 47, who has been at PTG for a week, said he was happy to celebrate Deepavali with the people of various races at the centre.
“I feel touched to be live like a family here. I never though I would celebrate Deepavali this year as it has been a week since I became homeless and with no where to go,” he said.
Pasupathy, who lost the use of his left hand following an accident two years ago, said he was grateful to be allowed to stay at PTG and would look for a job.
The chief coordinator at PTG, Amirrudin Abdul Rahman, said besides providing shelter, the shelter also helped to find jobs for the homeless.
He said there were currently 157 people at the centre.
“Since February 2016 until Oct 16 this year, a total of 1,222 people have registered at PTG and 371 of them have obtained jobs,” he added.