NST, KUALA LUMPUR: MIC's role as the big brother for the Indian community has not been minimised by the emergence of the Hindraf movement.
People seeking help to apply for identity cards or birth certificates, get business and taxi licences, or to solve financial or family problems still crowd the MIC headquarters.
MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said while some Indians might approach Hindraf over temple issues or to protest about some issues, there was no drop in the number of people calling at the MIC for help.
He was asked to comment on a recent report by an online portal that Hindraf had been inundated with appeals for assistance from the Indian community.
"I would say that there has been a significant increase in those seeking our help.
"Previously, as MIC Youth's Social Welfare Development bureau head, I used to receive many people at my office in Puchong on Wednesdays but the number has increased now."
Mohan said a service centre had been set up at the movement's new office. A full-time officer was on hand six days a week to attend to public complaints and two others to liaise with the government to solve problems, he added.
He said MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam were also constantly receiving people seeking help.
Meanwhile, MIC's Yayasan Social Strategic (YSS) family development unit head K.A. Gunah said they saw about 80 people weekly during their open days on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Gunah said after the poor showing by the MIC at the March 8 elections, YSS officers thought that people would stop coming to them for help.
"But this did not happen as more people started seeking our help."
Perak Hindraf co-ordinator A. Vathemurthy claimed that Hindraf had captured the imagination of the majority of Malaysian Indians.
He said Hindraf leaders were kept busy taking up cases of Indians in line with the group's struggle to safeguard the constitutional rights of Indians in the country.
"We're constantly highlighting community issues related to land, schools, scholarships, financial assistance and poverty. As we've no funds, we bring the issues to the media in order to solve the problems."