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Woman abandoned for 68 years at a Malaysian orphanage

K. Kamatchi never saw her parents and is now a matriarch at the place that took her in

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 11:44am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 December, 2016, 11:46am

By Christopher Tan

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.

“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.

Although suffering from visual and physical disabilities, Kamatchi used to help out with the cleaning during her younger days.

Ashrama chairman K. Ramasamy said there was a “no adoption” policy at the home.

“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.

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Abandoned for 68 years at the orphanage