The Heart of Lion Parkson Run 2015
Helping Disadvantaged Children
I was invited by the Lion-Parkson Foundation to attend the launch of Lion Parkson Run which is scheduled to take place 15th November 2015.
The launch venue was the Home for Handicapped & Mentally Disabled Children, and it was a good opportunity for this running blogger to see first-hand how the money raised from the run will be spent, and to meet the donors, the sponsors, the volunteers, the caregivers and the disadvantaged children related to the project.
Abandoned Babies & Children
May God have mercy on the souls of parents who abandon their handicapped & physically disabled babies and children. Under Malaysian Law, anyone who abandons a child under 12 faces up to seven years imprisonment, a fine, or both. It seems that nowadays, we cannot open the newspaper without reading some disturbing article on child abuse. I wonder where is our society heading to when we dismally fail our children who should carry our hopes for a bright future.
Who Is Guilty?
Often, when we hear or read the news about an abandoned baby or an abused child, it shocks us but do we really do anything about it?
The honest answer is that most of us do nothing to help these sad children because it did not happen to us or to our children. Some of us play the blame game to make us feel better about ourselves, and we blame the parents, the authorities, and society. We may be right about who should be held accountable, but could we or should we be doing more to help these children. Even if we wanted to help, we still need to go through the proper official channels and work with professional care-givers. If we do not have the time nor the expertise to help the needy directly, it is best to give our support to those who know what they are doing, by donating to them whatever cash that we can afford.
Where Do They End-Up?
There is no happy ending to these pitiful stories of lost innocence. From birth, the handicapped or mentally disabled children are already destined to face hardships. Then, life deals them another cruel blow when their parents decide to abandon them too. Amid such unimaginable despair, there is a beacon of hope in the form of shelter homes and their care-givers.
What is like for these disadvantaged babies and children to be raised in a shelter home? Although, this was my first visit to such a care centre, it left a deep impression on me which I want to briefly share with you here in words and with poignant photographs.
Banting Is Home
Mr. Rajamanikam founded the Home for Handicapped & Mentally Disabled Children in Johor more than twenty years ago. It was there that Lion-Parkson Foundation (LPF) Chairman, Puan Sri Chelsia Cheng,
was so impressed by the Home’s success in taking care of the children that LPF decided to raise the funds to build a similar centre in Banting, Selangor on a piece of land donated by Lion Group. The Banting Home was opened in November 2012 at a cost of RM2.2 million, and it can accommodate 100 children. Another RM1 million is being raised by LPF to build an extension under phase 2 & 3 which will accommodate another 100 children. All the proceeds from the Lion Parkson Run 2015 will be go towards building such extension.
Mr. Rajamanikam said, “We have 6 centres in Johor, Kuala Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, and two centres in Malacca. The centres in Malacca are owned by Malacca State Government and we operate the homes on their behalf.” Mr. Rajamanikam is a humble and soft-spoken gentleman who has dedicated twenty years of his life providing care to handicapped and physically disabled children out of his love for children.
It was such an honour for me to have met Mr. Rajamanikam, and in that brief moment, I felt the kindness and goodness of his aura touched me spiritually, and all at once, I knew that the children under his care would be cared and loved like they were his own.
During our tour of the Home, I noticed that the children were clean and so were the clothes that they had on. Although, they could not communicate, by the look in their eyes, I got the impression of their innocence and I think that they did not have the ability to process who they are, what they are doing and why they are there. In short, these children needed care 24/7. The Manager told me that he and his wife lived at the centre, and they supervised a team of dedicated care-givers. There is also an in-house physiotherapist who give daily physiotherapy to the children with movement difficulties. With the help of physiotherapy, one child who could not sit-up was able to sit-up.
Indeed, what we normally take for granted in our lives, takes on a whole new meaning for these handicapped and mentally disabled children and their outstanding care-givers. Although, the circumstances which brought these children to this Home may be terribly sad, the facilities and the care given to them is the best available. I left the Home convinced that “home is really where the heart is,” and I noticed that the beacon of hope for the lost children just got brighter thanks to a few good men and women.
Official Press Release –
Lion-Parkson Foundation is organizing a charity run at Setia City Mall, Shah Alam on 15 November 2015 to raise funds for the Home for Handicapped & Mentally Disabled Children in Banting, Selangor. The run is targeting to attract 5,000 participants and raise over RM1 million to build Phases 2 and 3 of the Home to accommodate another 100 children, and an orphanage and old folks home.
The Home which cost RM2.2 million to build by Lion-Parkson Foundation is located at Lot 1648, Jalan Angkasa, Bandar Mahkota Banting, on a 4.17 acre piece of land donated by Lion Group. The Home which can accommodate 100 children was officially opened by National Shuttler, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei on 4 November 2012.
Parkson Corporation is the organizer for the Run with Lee Chong Wei Foundation as the Co-organizer and some major sponsors such as Fila, Polo, Spritzer and Hwa Tai.
A Press Conference on the Lion Parkson Run 2015 will be held as follows:
Date : Thursday, 24 September 2015
Time : 3.00 pm
Venue : Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Terencat Akal Selangor
Lot 1648, Jalan Angkasa, Bandar Mahkota Banting, 42700 Banting, Selangor.
1.00 pm : Assemble at Lion Office Tower, No. 1 Jalan Nagasari, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
2.30 pm : Arrival of Media, Guests and Sponsors
2.55 pm : Arrival of Lion-Parkson Foundation Chairman, Puan Sri Chelsia Cheng and National Shuttler, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei
3.00 pm : Welcome by MC
3.05 pm : Speech by Parkson Corporation Management
3.15 pm : Video Presentation
3.20 pm : Launch of Lion Parkson Run 2015
3.25 pm : Q & A Session, Tour of Home & Refreshments”
For more photos, check-out Happy Runner.
About The Author: Gus Ghani is a freelance HIIT Fitness Coach who is currently training for Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya 2016. You can follow gusghani on Instagram.
Recommended Link – The Star newspaper