S’pore construction company treats its 500 workers to biryani dinner, gives ‘red packets’ for Deepavali

Bringing festive joy to workers during the pandemic.

Low Jia Ying | November 05, 2021, 04:23 PM

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A local telecommunications and construction company decked out its warehouse for Deepavali and treated its more than 500 migrant workers to a special biryani dinner on Wednesday (Nov. 3).

The workers also each received a “red packet” as a monetary gift that was deposited directly into their bank accounts.

The director of the company, Calvin Yeow, said he wanted to bring some "festive cheer" to his workers in light of the muted Deepavali celebrations during the pandemic.

Elaborate decorations at warehouse

Yeow, 38, told Mothership that his company, Lucky Joint Construction Pte Ltd, had hired an events company to set up the decorations at their warehouse in Tuas.

He said many of the foreign employees have been unable to return home due to the ongoing travel restrictions during the pandemic.

"Many face the grim options of either returning home and not being able to return to their jobs here or stay in Singapore and be separated from their families," he added.

Yeow shared that his workers would typically celebrate Deepavali by visiting temples with their friends, but this is currently restricted due to Covid-19 measures.

His company decided to set up Deepavali decorations at the warehouse to bring the festivities to the workers instead.

There were even decorations put up inside the office at the warehouse.

The over 500 workers were also treated to a Deepavali bento biryani dinner.

Workers posed for photos with decorations

No events were planned at the warehouse due to safe measurement measures, but all workers were invited to view the decorations.

Many took the opportunity to take photos with the spruced up space.

Many workers haven't been home in years

Some of the workers shared that they haven't been home to celebrate Deepavali with their families in years, and that the decorations made them feel like they were "home".

One of the workers, Chinnaiah Palaniyappan, said: "The decorations were fantastic and it caught my attention on the first day it was put up. After seeing it with the lights it feels absolutely heart warming as it gives me the mood to enjoy the day to the fullest. Despite me not being back home for nearly five years, I feel heartened that it's making me feel home here in [the company]."

Another worker, Arumugam Maruthu Pandian, who has not been home for two years, said that the decorations put him in a festive mood: "Decorations were awesome, first time seeing [the] company give out food with great festival of lights all around. [It put me in the] Deepavali mood and for me to enjoy this festive further."

"It's been two years since I went back my hometown and I feel grateful for the company for taking this extra effort to satisfy all of us."

Yeow noted that since the pandemic started, they have had employees who missed the birth of their children and the passing of their family members, all because they want to continue to work here and support their families.

Yeow with his company's warehouse foreman, Kuppan Arul Kumar.

Yeow said he hoped that the Deepavali decorations and food would help his workers ease some of the "doom and gloom" they may feel during this pandemic.

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All images courtesy of Calvin Yeow.