BY: Michelle Liew
The difference in religion do not prevent this Hindu grandmother from taking care of her two Muslim grandchildren.
The responsibility was borne by V Chandra, 62, soon after her daughter Nurani Kalsom Abdullah passed away last year as a result of COVID-19. As such, Chandra had to take up the mantel and raise her two granddaughters Jasmine Hawa Abdul Nur, 16, and Roselyn Aisyah Abdul Nur, 14.
According to Chandra, the two siblings now have no one to depend on as their father, who is a Bangladeshi national, lost contact after breaking up with their mother.
“Their mother is my only child and has long embraced Islam. So when she died in August last year due to COVID-19, I brought Jasmine and Roselyn to live with me because they had no one,” she said.
She added that the religious differences did not affect the love she had for them. In fact, the relationship between Chandra and her grandchildren is now closer and friendlier.
“They used to live in Klang, Selangor and we rarely meet up. Although we lived far away but we always greeted each other.
“For more than 20 years I lived alone after separating from my husband and now my life is no longer lonely because I am accompanied by my grandchildren,” she said.
To ensure that her two grandchildren do not miss out on getting a proper Islamic education, Chandra asked her neighbour, Selasawati Ali, 62, to help teach them the Quran.
In fact, she will also ensure that they eat halal food and perform the five daily prayers.
“I do not stop them from living life as a Muslim and as a grandmother I will try to give my best.
“What worries me is only that if I’m not there for them, there is no one to take care of them,” she says.
To make a living, Chandra depends on her disability pension money, and she is also grateful for the fact that Baitumal also provides monthly assistance of RM420 for her two grandchildren.
She said that with her age catching up, she is also facing health problems and is no longer able to work.
“My legs are not strong anymore after I had knee surgery and developed breast cancer. “When they live with me, they can look after me,” she said.
She will continue to bear the responsibility of taking care of Jasmine and Roselyn as best as possible especially in ensuring that her grandchildren continue to live life as a Muslim.
Meanwhile, Jasmine said, in the past, her late mother always reminded them to study hard and not to stop praying.
“Grandma is very careful about our religion and when Roselyn and I learn to recite at home, sometimes grandma will sit and listen,” she said.