Everyday Heroes – Aunty Letshimi

As lunchtime arrives, clients and Training Officers of Ang Mo Kio Training Development Centre (ATDC) line up along the corridor, waiting for the shutters of the kitchen window to roll up. It is a scene nostalgically reminiscent of queuing for your favourite meal during recess in primary school, with Mdm Krishnan Letshimi (more lovingly known as Aunty Letshimi or simply “Aunty”) helming the most popular stall in the canteen.

Aunty Letshimi has been the resident cook and culinary maestro of ATDC for 28 years. Her famous chicken rice is fragrant and flavourful with chunks of tender chicken breasts to ensure that fat content is reduced. This dish is part of a larger repertoire of Masterchef-level recipes Aunty Letshimi prepares for the clients and staff of ATDC. But at the root of all that she does, is her utmost care and consideration for all the clients.

Aunty Letshimi knows her clients’ dietary needs intrinsically well. As Training Officers come up to the kitchen window, they inform her of the client for whom they’re collecting the meal. Aunty Letshimi then portions out food as she understands the client requires: more vegetables and less rice for clients who need more help maintaining a healthy weight, a dash of hot water to soften rice for a client who needs softer foods, a special blend of pumpkin and broccoli for a another who has difficulty swallowing. As a Training Officer in ATDC very aptly said, each plate is personal; there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to caring for clients.

When asked what her favourite moment has been in these past 28 years, Aunty Letshimi gleefully responds, “every moment is my favourite”. She then warmly adds, “if you really like what you do, (the work is) not tiring.” In ATDC, Aunty Letshimi is a seasoned and sagely source of encouragement. Her work demonstrates a larger spirit we have for our clients – a stable and enduring drive for their happiness and wellbeing.

  • Not all of us have the opportunity to try Aunty Letshimi’s hearty meals, but you can enjoy some tasty treats and contribute to the welfare of our clients by purchasing the Lunar New Year goodies from MINDS Social Enterprise! Get yours by going to the link below! www.se.minds.org.sg/cny-catalogue
  • Know an everyday-hero that you’d like to celebrate? Tell us about them! We’d love to feature them in the next edition of the newsletter. Simply drop an email to tabitha.tan@minds.org.sg

Featured in the Feb 2021 issue of our MINDShare monthly e-newsletter. Scroll down to sign up and get more original stories and updates from our MINDS community.