Hindu Endowments Board lends a helping hand

Hindu Endowments Board lends a helping hand
A project Bakthi class

The Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) was officially formed on May 1, 1968 when the Hindu Endowments Act came into force.

The Hindu endowments, which were under Mohammaden Hindu Endowments Board (MHEB) set up in 1906 by the colonial government in Singapore, were transferred to HEB in 1968.

The endowments transferred relate to Sri Mariamman Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Sri Sivan Temple and Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple.

All other Hindu temples, shrines and monuments in Singapore are managed by other organisations.

As there appears to be many misconceptions about HEB's role I decided to write about its focus in two segments, the various community initiatives it has undertaken over the years and its plans for the immediate future.

HEB started Singapore's first Ministry of Education-registered Tamil kindergarten in 1990.

Today, we have two kindergartens - Saraswathy Kindergarten (SKG) in Toa Payoh and Saraswathy Darma Muneeswaran Kindergarten (SDMKG) in Yishun.

Our kindergartens are accredited, have won many accolades in the pre-school sector and offer a comprehensive curriculum.

Our kindergartens offer free education to less-fortunate children who would otherwise not be able to attend school in their formative years.

This includes giving bursaries amounting to no less than $50,000 to our students annually.

I am proud to say that both our kindergartens are celebrating milestone events this year - 25 years of successful operations for SKG and 10 years for SDMKG.

As this year is special for the kindergartens, there will be many fringe events over the year including a Games Day on May 16 and a carnival in July.

Yet another key community contribution is the HEB-Ashram Halfway House.

Set up in 2000, the facility has been providing well-rounded and proven rehabilitation programmes for referrals from prisons and Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises.

It holds Institute of a Public Character status with National Council of Social Service accredition.

In December 2014, it was awarded ISO 9001-2008 certification, the first halfway house in Singapore to receive that recognition.

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