Sitting in her wheelchair with a brand new sewing machine on a table in front of her, K Ilavarasi radiates happiness.
The 29-year-old had recently spoken of her desire for a way to earn a living and to be as independent as others her age. Confined to a wheelchair since childhood, this had been both a dream and a challenge.
But the dream appeared to have trumped the challenge when a delivery man knocked on the door and handed over the sewing machine.
Caught unawares, Ilavarasi did not know how to react at first. But when the delivery man told her that the machine had been sent by a well wisher, disbelief gave way to joy.
“I cannot describe how happy I am to receive this sewing machine,” she told MalaysiaNow in the living room of her aunt’s house in Rawang.
MalaysiaNow recently reported the challenges faced by Ilavarasi who was abandoned as a child by her mother because of her condition.
She grew up isolated from the community around her as she could not mingle with her friends, and did not receive much help from the authorities.
Alone in the house, she did her best to alleviate her aunt’s burden by taking care of herself and helping out with the daily chores.
But she always yearned to do more with her life, to earn a living and to help others along the way.
The sewing machine, given by an anonymous well wisher, may be the key to realising this dream.
“I cannot wait to start learning how to use this sewing machine,” said Ilavarasi who until now had been sewing by hand. “There are so many sewing techniques that I want to try.”
Ilavarasi has a natural talent for sewing, her aunt told MalaysiaNow.
“We never sent her to sewing class but she could sew well even before she got the machine.
“If this is where her heart and passion lie, I fully support her,” she added.
With the sewing machine, Ilavarasi is now brimming with plans for the days ahead.
“I dream of making a variety of styles of blouses in different colours,” she said.
“Maybe next year I can sew my own sari to celebrate Deepavali, too.”
But the very first thing on her list is a sari blouse for her aunt, who has done so much for her throughout the years.
While she may never know the identity of the person who sent her the machine, Ilavarasi is truly grateful.
“I won’t forget the kindness shown by this good Samaritan,” she said, adding that the gift has given her new hope to continue moving forward.
“I hope to learn more and to keep trying to achieve more success in life.”