From Passion to Purpose

From Passion to Purpose

Caption: Mdm Kamala posing beside her Indian henna artwork, created together with seniors.

“The seniors – they can’t see their toe nails clearly. Some can’t even bend to reach them. They are always happy when you touch them and take care of them."

Mdm Sreedharan Kamala, 72, knows how to make one feel pampered and cared for. As a beauty professional with two decades of expertise in the wellness industry, the retired spa trainer appreciates the importance of holistic well-being. She sparks joy in others through facial treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, and make-up artistry.

Mdm Kamala lives with her husband and daughter in a three-room flat in Yishun. In 2022, her life took a positive turn through an encounter with a TOUCH staff, who knocked on her door to invite her to have her health checked at TOUCHpoint@Yishun 436, an Active Ageing Centre. The timing was right. She was then on a look out for meaningful activities to occupy her time.

Being the eldest daughter, Mdm Kamala had to support her mother since young caring for her siblings – a duty that would shape her outlook in life and ignite a passion to serve others.  She was trained to cook, do marketing and attend to their needs.

“I have it in me to care for others. Before I entered the spa line of work, I was working for seven years as a dental nurse. I have always enjoyed helping people ease their pain and anxiety. I also used to train beauticians in Singapore and overseas. I have all these useful skills and while I still have strength and stamina, I should put them into good use,” says Mdm Kamala.

Caption: Mdm Kamala doing hena art for seniors during the Centre’s Hari Raya Celebration

TOUCHpoint@Yishun 436 soon became her launching pad to embark on her volunteering journey. Mdm Kamala discovered a vibrant community where seniors were encouraged to contribute and learn new things.

“There was this sudden burst of enthusiasm in me. I felt I was in a good position to pamper these seniors. I have always yearned for such an experience, where I can find personal growth and fulfilment by bringing comfort and cheer to others,” adds Mdm Kamala.

On a bi-monthly basis, Mdm Kamala worked with TOUCH staff to organise spa sessions for frail seniors. Using her professional tools, she meticulously wash their hands and feet to cleanse and refresh their skin, trim their nails and end off with a therapeutic massage, creating a deep sense of calmness and relaxation.

Caption: Mdm Kamala connecting with a senior at TOUCHpoint@Yishun 436

Caption: TOUCHpoint@Yishun 436 – a place where friendships are forged

Caption: A senior enjoying a relaxing pedicure session by Mdm Kamala

“The seniors – they can’t see their toe nails clearly. Some can’t even bend to reach them. They are always happy when you touch them and take care of them. That’s the power of touch – it can do wonders to soothe the mind. One of the seniors was so touched, she wanted to buy me mangoes to thank me!” says Mdm Kamala with a smile.

Moving forward, Mdm Kamala intends to teach seniors how to clean their faces and do simple massage for one another or even for their loved ones.

Caption: Mdm Kamala (second row, second from left) performing with seniors at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital during Hari Raya in 2023

Recently, she has also performed together with the seniors as part of the Angklung Clan, a newly formed interest group, conducted by TOUCH staff. “It feels great to learn in a group. All this while, I have always done things on my own. Now, I have many friends – Chinese, Indians and Malays – and we are all learning and performing together.

“I encourage seniors to keep their minds active other than staying fit. If you don’t, you may have dementia easily,” adds Mdm Kamala.

Story published in 2023
Updated in 2024