Providing safe haven for disadvantaged children

After suffering personal loss, businessman turns his home into shelter for orphans and raises them with his own child

22 Sep 2020 / 12:45 H.

PETALING JAYA: Spurred by the loss of his parents at a young age, B. Kanagendren decided to take in children who had felt similar pain.

Living with them and raising them under one roof with his wife and daughter, 38-year-old Kanagendren also finances his shelter with his own earnings through his businesses, a cleaning service and a partnership in a mamak restaurant.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has all but depleted his earnings and he is now appealing for financial aid to help him continue providing for the children.

Kanagendren was just 21 when he lost his mother and father to illnesses.

To cope with the loss, he began to visit orphanages where he could help the children.

He continued the tradition even after he got married a few years later, this time with his wife, and later their only daughter, in tow.

Kanagendren recalled how his daughter Kevisha began to display a “surprising amount of compassion” when she turned six.

She would urge her parents to give the orphans as much attention as they were giving to her.

“There was once when she would not let me buy her new shoes until I promised to buy shoes for her friends at the orphanage as well,” Kanagendren told theSun.

This made him realise that he should do more for the children without waiting for someone else to do it.

This desire to help eventually materialised into a shelter for children a year later. Kanagendren has aptly named it “Heavenly Home”.

Three years on, the couple now play parents to 20 children, including two babies, all of whom are from disadvantaged background. His wife, who chose to remain anonymous, helps out by cooking for the children and taking care of their other needs.

As far as Kanagendren is concerned, the children are not orphans. “They are my children. As long as I am here, they have a father,” he said.

Kevisha, now aged 10, said she’s happier now that she is living with her new-found siblings. “It’s like having siblings of my own. I like having them around,” she said.

Despite the good intentions, Kanagendran is now hard-pressed to keep the home running. His monthly costs go up to RM12,000 for expenditures including rent, utilities, groceries and transport. Anyone who wishes to donate can reach him on his cellphone (016-2090901). Kanagendren has compiled a list of necessities, including groceries that can be donated to the home. Donors can also deposit cash into his Maybank account: 512866193222. The shelter is at 171, Jalan PP 1/2, Taman Putra Prima, Puchong, Selangor.

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