PETALING JAYA: Deepavali has been a joyous time for many families during the pre-Covid-19 days, but with the pandemic, celebrating the festival has become a struggle and a huge heartache for many.

Penang Hindu Association (PHA) and Klinik Derma Sivasanta (KDS) said there are many hardcore poor families who are still experiencing hardships as a consequence of the pandemic and are finding difficulty in coping with this time of the year.

“PHA and KDS would like to have the spirit of being there for these families and their children and sharing the Deepavali cheer with them,” Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah said today.

“PHA and KDS managed to collect donations and sponsorships to cheer up 150 hardcore poor families to receive the Deepavali charity aid as a temporary support during the festival period.

“PHA and KDS had verified the financial status of the families and invited them to collect the aid at Klinik Derma Sivasanta, situated at No. 11, River Road, Penang. The event was held on Oct 17.”

Each aid package contained food and other basic necessities. A token amount of RM50 cash was also given to each family to buy festival related items on Deepavali day.

“The First Aid kit was included in the charity aid package as it was realized that many in the B40 group cannot afford these items,” Murugiah.

“It would come in handy in case of a minor home emergency to help limit the risk of infection. PHA and KDS view that it would be helpful for each household to have a basic First Aid kit to treat minor injuries and to save any trips to the clinic or hospital, especially during this pandemic time.”

A total of 85 families came to collect the items and those who came in person were also provided with takeaway vegetarian food.