Delivering Hari Raya cheer to over 7,000 migrant workers
IRR donation drive sees care packs and bento meals delivered to various worksites and living quarters
He has been working in Singapore for nearly 11 years and had been looking forward to celebrating Hari Raya with his co-workers.
Unfortunately, because of the recent rise in the number of Covid-19 community cases, migrant workers here celebrated while practising social distancing for the second successive year.
Last Thursday, the construction site supervisor, who wanted to be known only as Mr Elahi, stayed in with his friends and they prayed and ate together. He also talked to his parents in Bangladesh through a video call.
The 31-year-old bachelor told The New Paper: "I want to be with my family, but I cannot. That is the saddest part."
For Mr Elahi, the silver lining was the outpouring of support during this year's Hari Raya from members of the public, who prepared and delivered care packs and bento meals to over 7,000 migrant workers at 105 worksites and living quarters.
They received the items on the eve of Hari Raya on May 12, as part of a festive initiative organised by social enterprise ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR).
Ms Ruchi Trivedi, a lead volunteer at IRR, told TNP: "We know the workers cannot celebrate festive occasions with their families, so we wanted to do something... special for them."
While IRR has organised donation drives involving migrant worker dormitories in the past, they decided to focus on smaller groups of workers at individual worksites this year.
Said Ms Trivedi: "Our goal has always been to provide a bridge for the community to interact and connect with the workers. And we felt this was a good way for donors to show support amid the pandemic."
The care packs contained items ranging from prayer mats to gadgets such as headphones, while the sponsored meals were paid for by donors and prepared by restaurants or caterers.
In the spirit of forming meaningful connections, IRR then linked up donors and construction site supervisors so that donors could deliver the items to the workers themselves.
IRR volunteer Sandra Benny helped prepare and deliver 50 bags of non-perishable food and drinks for workers at a site in Ghim Moh.
While they were unable to be in close proximity with the recipients, Ms Benny said seeing the smiles on their faces from afar was more than enough.
She recalled how one donor initially ordered 50 briyani packets to be delivered from the restaurant to the workers but "later felt it was more meaningful if she did the deliveries herself with her young son instead".
Mr Elahi is among those who expressed his gratitude for the initiative. He said: "We got a lot of supplies and we are thankful. It is really an act of kindness."