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'I was very touched by his compassion'

He is a very, very kind person and likes helping people, but you would usually help someone you know and not a stranger.

- Ms Kusula Kumari (above, right), 49, a long-time friend of Mr Suresh

When Mr Suresh Vanaz told his friend of his plan to help Mr Sakthivel Kumaravelu, she thought he would merely be making a donation.

Ms Kusula Kumari, 49, a long-time friend of Mr Suresh, never imagined he would actually make the journey to Mr Sakthivel's village in Tamil Nadu.

After a Facebook appeal to raise funds for Mr Sakthivel's family, support poured in and Ms Kusula decided to help him keep accounts.

"He is a very, very kind person and likes helping people, but you would usually help someone you know and not a stranger.

"He just felt that he should help. I was very touched by his compassion."

Mr Suresh even managed to convince Ms Kusula to join him on the trip to India.

Like Mr Suresh, Ms Kusula was struck by how poor Mr Sakthivel's family was. She personally handed $300 to the family.

"She (Mr Sakthivel's mother) was very touched by what Suresh did and he also comforted her to tell her that she'll get a monthly sum," said Ms Kusula.

Mr Jolovan Wham, the executive director of Home which supports migrant workers in Singapore, had also visited Mr Sakthivel's village in January with civil group Workfair Singapore.

He said of Mr Suresh's efforts: "Singaporeans may be politically apathetic but they are sympathetic to families in grief and very compassionate when it comes to responding to tragedy."