9-year-old gets award for exemplary character

9-year-old gets award for exemplary character
Joshua Noel Dinesh Ramanathan, 9, Primary 4 student from Townsville Primary School.

When Joshua Noel Dinesh Ramanathan's father had a stroke last year, the nine-year-old insisted on visiting him in hospital every single day for a week, and encouraged him to quit smoking.

In school, the thoughtful Primary 4 pupil also takes care of his best friend, who has autism spectrum disorder, by looking after him when he leaves the classroom, upset at being called names.

Yesterday, Joshua received an Edusave Character Award, which recognises exemplary character, from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He was one of more than 800 pupils who received various Edusave awards and bursaries at Townsville Primary School in Ang Mo Kio.

Mr Lee cited Joshua in an off-the-cuff speech, and told pupils and parents that learning how to be a good person and help others was an important part of education.

Mr Lee, who is the MP in charge of Ang Mo Kio GRC's Teck Ghee ward, added that in life, not everything goes well all the time.

But he encouraged them to "press on, do our best; tomorrow, we do better". Joshua's response?

He said he would offer his $200 prize money to his mother, to help cover his father's medical bills.

This article was first published on January 11, 2015.
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