R Vairavasundram's restaurant business may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, but that has not stopped the 59-year-old from providing free food for about 50 families daily.
The former martial arts champion once known as the "Rocky Balboa" of Malaysia, hops on his motorcycle daily to deliver the free meals from his garden-like banana leaf restaurant under a tree near the Free School Road roundabout in George Town, Penang, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).
In fact, Vairavasundram, who's better known as Veera, has even dipped into his own savings to support his noble initiative, given the rising prices of vegetables of late. According to him, most of the proceeds from the sales of set meals at his shop, which begins at RM8, go towards feeding the poor.
Besides, donations from a group of about 10 people had also kept him afloat thus far, he told the portal. Veera posts a monthly account of how he spends the money from the donors.
Veera also hates wastage. He collects leftovers, such as soya bean milk, sweet potatoes, and unsold meals from a caterer, and sends them to the needy.
"One day, I saw a soya bean milk seller pouring a big can of milk into the drain. I asked him why and he said he was closing for the afternoon.
"I told him, rather than wasting it, give it to me and I will send it to the nearby orphanage. It is terrible to see good food going to waste when they are people who go hungry," he told FMT.
That soya bean milk seller and three other food sellers are now his regular food providers.
When he's not running the shop or delivering food to the needy, Veera also helps the homeless around George Town. Veera is reportedly looking for more volunteers to do delivery runs to the poor, and also to chip in with contributions, so that less people will go hungry.
"Also, if you have leftover food, please send them to me."
The meals provided to the poor are also not light. They are nine-dish meals, comprising sizeable portions of rice, gravy, vegetables and even pappadom - all personally prepared by Veera's wife Rathina, 51.
As the saying goes 'the apple does not fall far from the free', Veera's two daughters are achievers in their own right.
His eldest daughter Priyanka, 24, last year received the UK's Diana Award for her work in motivating and coaching academically weak students from poor families. She was one of three Malaysians honoured then.
The youngest, Kowsalya, 21, helps Veera in his decade-long self-motivational programme called "Zero to Hero", which aims to keep youngsters from poor families from becoming delinquents and social outcasts. The pair has helped over 10,000 students to date.
Veera's philantrophic ventures have come a long way from the days he used his fists to down his opponents during they heys. Well versed in karata, katana, judo, and the Chinese martial art of san shou, Veera also defeated a 22-year-old opponent in a Thai kickboxing championship, when he was 49!
Those who would like to help Veera and his family in their noble cause should contact FMT's helpline via WhatsApp at 019-3899839. Please do not call the number.
Photos source: R Vairavasundram Facebook
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