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Indian community can finally see light after darkness

Amid the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges that arose, many in the Indian community stepped up to support those in need.

On Tuesday, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam paid tribute to the community’s efforts with the launch of a video by the People’s Action Party (PAP) at its Chong Pang branch.

Titled Light Of Hope, the video was helmed by filmmaker K Rajagopal, who wanted to showcase the community’s tenacity through the use of real-life stories, accompanied by an original song that made use of the imagery of a burning flame as a metaphor for kindness.

The song was penned by lyricist Jaya Rathakrishnan and performed by Carnatic vocalist Sushma Soma. Carnatic music has its roots in South India.

The video, Mr Shanmugam said, was meant to convey the essence of Deepavali, which lies in showing kindness to others.

“When we show others kindness, that will take us from darkness to the light, and that kindness will promote a more united community in such difficult times,” he added.

The last two years saw muted Deepavali celebrations as the Government put in place safe management measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Despite having to adapt to these restrictions, organisations like the Indian Heritage Centre, Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha) and the Hindu Endowment Board continued to hold cultural and religious events to ensure the festival of lights was celebrated, he said.

While this year’s festivities promise to be a return to form, he cautioned community members to safeguard their health, given rising Covid-19 cases and mask requirements having largely been done away with.

As a whole, the Indian community has emerged from the pandemic strong and united, with Mr Shamugam noting how the community continually banded together in support.

He cited how the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) helped more students and underprivileged families than ever before, with the support of many in the Indian community.

Ground-up groups had also contributed to the community’s sense of unity, including Lighting Hearts Lighting Homes, which has been distributing goodie bags to Indian families and migrant workers.

“We are now truly coming to a place where we can see the light, after being in a place surrounded by darkness.

“This makes this year’s Deepavali very meaningful,” said Mr Shanmugam.

DEEPAVALIK Shanmugamcovid-19PAP