GEORGE TOWN: K. Kamatchi was left at an orphanage when she was five. She is now 73 and is both a matriarch and grandmother to the 49 children at the Ramakrishna Ashrama in Scotland Road, The Star reports.
“I only remember I was sent to the home by someone. I have never seen my parents. I came from Singapore,” the frail-looking septuagenarian said when met at the 1st Avenue shopping mall yesterday.
Kamatchi, who has no family members, said she studied until Year Three at the Ramakrishna Primary School. “Then, I decided to stop schooling and help out at the home,” she said.
“We only have a programme for interested people to sponsor the children, such as sponsor their meals and education. “We will take care of the children until they can support themselves. It is challenging but we are grateful to the caring community for continuously supporting us,” he said.
Malaysian Orphans Welfare Association (Peyatim) deputy president Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff said the association also did not allow adoption of children from its orphanages.
“Peyatim has 72 homes, including in Sabah and Sarawak. We will support the children until they complete their education,” he said. He added that the association disagreed with adoption because the children could be exploited by their adoptive family.