SINGAPORE - Youth Award winner Dr Kumaran Rasappan is most passionate about empowering and inspiring youths and mentors other youngsters who share his interests - mountain climbing and social service.
"I mentored Ashokan Ashik and Ashok Kumar, who trekked up the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal earlier this year to raise awareness and funds for the Society for the Physically Disabled. I am also mentoring the chairperson of the Singapore University of Technology and Design Mountaineering Club," said the 30-year-old orthopaedic surgical resident at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
Since early 2011, Dr Kumaran (above left receiving his award from Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam) has been giving motivational talks to the young inmates at the Singapore Prison School, under the Mitra Programme, inspiring them to turn over a new leaf and rebuild their lives.
He also happens to be the first Singapore-born Indian to scale Mount Everest in 2012, to raise money for the TTSH charity fund. He managed to raise over $40,000 which has been put to good use helping needy patients.
It was for involving himself in these activities that won him the Singapore Youth Award - the nation's highest accolade for youths, honouring exceptional young people who enrich the hearts and souls of the community and bring distinction to the nation.
Administered by the National Youth Council, the award was established in 1975 to recognise the achievements and selfless spirit of young Singaporeans everywhere.
Dr Kumaran was one of six winners selected from more than 115 nominees this year, for being inspiring role models for youngsters to boldly create possibilities for the good of the community.
They received their awards from Mr Tharman at the Istana on July 6.
"I feel very humbled and honoured to have won this award," said the doctor whose passion for volunteering was ignited by a teacher, Mr Krishnan, in Secondary 3.
One beneficiary of the Mitra Programme was Mr Asholkumat Anbualagan, who was invited by Dr Kumaran to attend the award ceremony on July 6.
Said Mr Asholkumat: "I didn't think that I could do it in my studies. I just took what Dr Kumaran had said - that we will face challenges every day. I went in to write my exams, and I passed with flying colours."
Dr Kumaran had also been named the tabla! Community Champion and presented the Abdeali Tayebali Award for Courage in 2012, after he scaled the world's tallest mountain.
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