Sunday, March 22, 2009

Seven As student cut out to be a doc, not cut grass

GEORGE TOWN: Eighteen-year-old S. Somaraj may be a top student, having scored 7As and 3Bs in his recent SPM examination, but he is forced to help his father with his part-time job of cutting grass on weekends.

Somaraj, a Penang Free School student, hopes to become a doctor in a private hospital here, where his father, M. Sangkaran, 46, works as an ambulance driver.

“I want to make my parents proud of my achievements. But it will cost more than RM250,000 for medical studies. I hope my parents can raise the money somehow.

“With me helping my father on weekends, he can earn about RM300 extra a month in addition to his RM1,700 salary at the hospital,” he said, adding that his mother K. Dharamambal, 39, earned RM800 monthly as a factory worker.

Luckily for Somaraj, who is a keen football player, his plight has caught the attention of state MIC youth treasurer J. Dhinagaran,

Dhinagaran, who is Penang Indian Football Association president, visited Sangkaran upon learning that he, Somaraj and another son Sartish were cutting grass outside a house in Batu Lanchang, here, yesterday.

He presented RM2,001 in aid to Sankaran and suggested that Somaraj pursue his medical studies at AIMST University in Sg Petani.

Sangkaran said the aid would be used to partially finance a foundation course at the university. “I’ve heard the one-year foundation fee at the university is about RM17,000. I hope I can raise enough money for that,” he said.

Dhinagaran said he would support Somaraj’s application for a scholarship from the Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED), which runs the university.

“Somaraj has a bright future,” he said.

Those interested in giving Somaraj a helping hand can contact Dhinagaran at 012-4879030.

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