Foster mum of 43 kids is tabla!'s Community Champion
For years, it was a bit of a squeeze in a four-room flat in Lorong Ah Soo for Madam Indranee Elizabeth Nadisen, her husband and six children.
But even then, Madam Indranee always found the space and time to foster children.
Over her 35 years as a foster mother, 43 children experienced the love from her and her family.
"My children were so good and they helped me in my chores. They loved the babies and treated them like their own brothers or sisters," said Madam Indranee, 77, who herself was adopted as a child.
As recognition for her tireless work as a foster mum, Madam Indranee was yesterday presented with tabla!'s seventh Community Champion Award at the Suntec City Convention Centre, in conjunction with the Singapore International Indian Expo 2017.
Madam Indranee received a cash donation of $10,000 from the State Bank of India, Singapore as part of the award. She has decided to donate the money to the Ramakrishna Mission and the Sree Narayana Mission.
Singapore Indian Association president and last year's tabla! Community Champion K. Kesavapany said: "Indranee serves as an inspiration to us all.
"In the path set by St Teresa of Kolkata, she gathered God's children unto her and lavished love and care on them."
Madam Indranee, who started fostering because she was "bored" when her children were of school-going age, would take in babies who were just a few weeks old.
The babies were abandoned or were in a situation where their parents could not care for them.
They would stay with her till they were about 2½ years old before being put up for adoption.
"It used to break my heart when they left. The child also wouldn't want to leave. They would cling to me," said Madam Indranee, who is not in contact with any of the children she fostered.
She stopped taking in children in 2008 when her shoulders and knees started giving her trouble.
For those who may want to be a foster parent, she said: "You must be very patient and must love children... If the child is naughty and you shout at him, then the child will become even more angry and aggressive."
Patrick Jonas is the editor of tabla!