Hari Raya on the streets of Chow Kit
The needy and the urban poor turn out in droves to receive the gifts of food and clothing given by charitable individuals and groups.
Photographs by Djohan Shahrin
Wan Marziana Wan Mohmad has celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri from her rented room in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, for eight years now, ever since she and her husband moved from their home town in Terengganu in search of better prospects in the capital city.
Their belongings, including the food packs given through acts of charity, are arranged in piles in the corners of their room which they rent for RM600 a month.
Marziana checks her reflection in the mirror before heading off to work. Her Raya outfit, carefully sheathed in plastic, hangs on a hook beside the mirror.
She does not have a permanent job, but earns what she can doing laundry for others in the area.
After collecting her wages, she returns to her room to fetch her youngest son, Emran, whom she takes with her to her next job.
Unable to afford public transport, they make their way through the city on foot.
Scores of others like her and her family queue at the back of Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit, waiting to receive donations of food from a charity outfit, the Ar Riqab Welfare Organisation.
Marziana (left) helps the organisation distribute packets of food to the urban poor in the area.
She is here every evening, and returns home with food for her children as well. This allows her to keep her wages for the rent.
Her son sits in a box, waiting for her to finish her daily tasks.
Ahead of Hari Raya, NGOs come together to distribute clothing for the homeless and urban poor.
Volunteers sort through the clothes and mark them according to category.
The volunteers include university students who collect the donations and help distribute them to those in need.
Former national and state football players participate in the programme as well, including Malek Rahman, Shahrin Majid, Mubeen Mokhtar, Ghani Ali, Nazreen Tee, Hardi Jaafar, Azizon Abdul Kadir, V Rajesparan and Jalaludin Kamal.
Once Marziana has finished her tasks, she helps hand out packets of food to her other friends throughout the Chow Kit area.
Together, they sit on the curb and break their fast.
Further down the alley, others perform the evening prayer.
After dinner, Marziana plays with her neighbours' children who have been given sparklers ahead of Hari Raya.
At night, the streets come alive as individuals and organisations gather to distribute aid and packets of money for Raya.
Marziana holds her son's hand as they, too, make their way towards the queue.
The clothing is distributed freely to those in need, with volunteers on hand to help them sort through the piles.
Towards the end of the night, Marziana wakes her son who has fallen asleep – it's time to go home.
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