Blindness no barrier to STPM high achiever

Blindness no barrier to STPM high achiever
20-year-old P. Kaventhran.

PUTRAJAYA - Smiling broadly, 20-year-old P. Kaventhran held up his exam results specially printed out in Braille and proudly declared that nothing is too difficult to achieve.

Kaventhran, who is completely blind, said he was delighted to learn that he not only scored 4A's for STPM but was also the top scoring blind student in the country.

"When I found out my results I was so happy as I had fulfilled the wishes of my parents, my relatives and my friends.

"Now I have to focus on what is next and for me, that would be studying psychology," he said, adding that his dream was to obtain a PhD in psychology.

Kaventhran, who studied in St John Bukit Nanas, said there were many people suffering from psychological problems and he wanted to give free advice to them.

"For example, teachers. They have to go through so much and sometimes even end up being hospitalised in Tanjung Rambutan," he said, drawing laughter from reporters interviewing him yesterday.

Kaventhran had earlier received a cheque for RM5,000 from MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel at the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry here.

Another recipient of a cheque for the same amount was M. Kabilan, also 20, who achieved a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.0 in the examination.

Palanivel, who is Natural Resources and Environment Minister, said he would help Kaventhran through the Tan Sri Manickavasagam Scholarship Fund.

"I will also go around the country and hand out cheques to high-performing Indian students soon," he said.

He declined to answer questions on MIC, saying "this is not a party event".

Asked on problems he faced when preparing for the examination, Kaventhran said getting books and other materials in Braille was "the biggest challenge".

"To get one book with about 300 to 400 pages typed out in Braille would sometimes take up to a month.

"Usually, only a few copies of a book in Braille are produced, and I would have to share with my friends," he said.

His parents M. Pulanthran, 56, and M. Thanamala, 51, said they expected him to do well as he had always done well in school.

Pulanthran said their only concern now was how they were going to send their son for further studies.

"There seems to be no avenue locally for him, and we are looking at options in the United States as they have courses on Psychology and materials for blind students there," he said.

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