Special moments – Mandali members reach out to the needy

Balgovind Rd Satsang Ramayan Mandali Nadawa members sort out food items which will be packed and distributed to people struggling during this lockdown. Picture: SUPPLIED

Last Sunday, Mother’s Day was celebrated in Fiji. Facebook was flooded with beautiful moments between a mother and her loved ones despite the COVID-19 crisis.

However, those whose mothers had passed away had to cling to the beautiful memories from the good old days.

I was one of those who reminisced the good old days when I celebrated Mother’s Day with my sweet and caring mom.

My heart also went out to those mothers who had been separated from their families because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their children missed them on their special day.

I expressed my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude on social media to these mothers who are our frontline warriors at this critical time.

Furthermore, The Fiji Times Mother’s Day greeting pages were heart-touching, and honoured the incredible women out there! For me, my mother was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness.

She was that sweet flower of love that I dearly miss every day. She passed away last year on March 9, and left behind fond memories which are hard to replace.

When I left for school on Monday, March 9, little did I know that it was my last meeting with my mother who passed away around mid-day. The news was unbearable, and I cried my heart out.

I knew that I had lost the most valuable part of my life — my mother.

Today, I live with her teachings, and I’m proud that her teachings have moulded me into who I am today.

I’m grateful that God blessed me with a beautiful, kind, caring, compassionate and understanding mother who was not only a companion, but a true friend.

I always looked forward to Mother’s Day when mum was alive, as I had so much planned for her on her special day.

On the other hand, I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to our mothers for their care, warmth and never unending love.

I salute our mothers who have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of these mothers have been unsung heroes during this crisis.

Our mothers deserve respect, love and care, for they have done so much to raise us.

No mother deserves to be physically or emotionally abused, so it is important we cherish all that they do for us.

My mandali Balgovind Rd Satsang Ramayan Mandali Nadawa planned to make this year’s Mother’s Day special for the needy and desperate families, and we distributed food rations to them.

The mandali members Ram Lingam, James Venkat Swamy, Rohit Lingam, Savinesh Maharaj, Ashneel Raj and Rajat Maharaj wanted to brighten Mother’s Day and make it special for the needy and generous families.

Hence, food rations were distributed to ease the burden on those families who are struggling to make ends meet.

The target areas were Narere, Nadawa, Nadera, Raiwaqa and Cunningham.

We were touched by the response we received from the mothers who received the rations. They were so grateful that their eyes swelled with tears, and we were emotional seeing the emotions on their faces.

The smiles that were seen as they made their way to their homes made our Mother’s Day weekend. During phase one, we distributed food packs to 22 families.

During phase two, we distributed seven packs, while during phase three, 11 families benefitted.

The food ration included 10kg rice, 5kg flour, sugar, tea leaves, noodles, potatoes, onion, garlic, soya bean oil, tin tuna, biscuit and dhal.

All in all, 40 families were provided with food rations which were worth $50 per pack and amounted to $2000.

The mandali is grateful to family members and friends who sent money from overseas, and the local donors who assisted us.

The overseas donors include: Auckland- Nileshni Prasad, Ravinesh Maharaj, Baswa Nand and Arti Bandana; Wellington- Abhilesh Prasad Christchurch- Sharna and Melvina Goundar, Sumitika Nand and Adishwar Lingam; Sydney- Roselyn Mani;
and Brisbane- Roshni and Janendra Singh, while our local donors include Raymond Stoddart, Anand Sharma, Mohammed
Saiyaz Khan, Krishna Goundar, Bhagwanji Bhindi, Jyotika Singh, Ashneel Raj, the Lingam family, Savinesh Maharaj and
Sanjay Narayan.

Through their concerted efforts, this generous act was possible by members of Balgovind Rd Satsang Ramayan Mandali
Nadawa which is known for charity work.

The mandali also distributed food rations to residents of Narere who were affected by the tornado last year.

It also contributed $200 each to WOWS Kids Fiji and Fiji Cancer Society.

The mandali took 73 packs of food rations and water supplies to the north aftermath of STC Yasa and distributed food and water rations in Lekutu, Dreketi, Nasarawaqa and Bua.

The mandali members contributed $250 to 15-year-old Swapnil of Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, who was undergoing dialysis,
as part of their contributions after Ram Naumi.

Sadly, Swapnil passed away on Monday, and he was cremated on Thursday.

The mandali believes it’s important to change our mindset towards women and our mothers, and value their contribution
to our homes, communities and the country at large.

On behalf of the mandali, I applaud the efforts of our mothers, who are front-liners, and those who brave the sun and rain
to look after their families.

Yesterday, we received six more calls from families in Narere and Tuirara who needed assistance.

These six families were assisted with necessary packs to last them through the lockdown.

As I conclude, I pay tribute to my mother Pushpa Wati Lingam for being a wonderful mother.

My daughter Mahi and niece Akshainie miss their grandmother’s love.

Finally, I thank my wife Madhu for being a caring wife and a lovely mother to my daughter Mahi.

Her support, commitment and perseverance have changed my life.

On May 5, Fiji commemorated International Midwives Day, while on Wednesday, Fiji commemorated International Nurses
Day, and on Thursday, Muslim brothers and sisters celebrated Eid.

Special moments in Fiji despite the pandemic!

Hence, I urge every Fijian to take care and to abide by the instructions given by the relevant authorities.

These few days are about staying safe and together and caring for each other as the Suva- Nausori corridor goes into lockdown
mode.

  •  RAJNESH LINGAM is a usual contributor to this newspaper. The views are his and not of this newspaper

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