City teen headed to India

2009-06-17 00:00

“GRAB the opportunity with both hands,” is what a local teen plans to do after receiving a full scholarship to India.

Thershenthren Naidoo (18) of Northdale leaves for the University of Pune next month.

He is among 26 lucky students from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape who have been awarded Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholarships. The Consulate General of India, in Durban, granted the scholarships, which cover three years’ study at Indian universities.

“I feel like I have been handed life on a platter. A whole new world has been opened to me and I can finally achieve all my dreams and aspirations,” said an ecstatic Naidoo.

A former pupil at Woodlands Secondary in Northdale, Naidoo said he has had to work hard to get to where he is.

He attributes his father’s near-death experience as being behind his responsible approach to life.

“When my dad was critically ill, I realised how precious and short life was. I made a decision to always strive for excellence and make the best of every opportunity that comes my way, which is why I decided to apply.”

Naidoo said a friend told him about the application advertised in The Witness early this year.

He admits to having first discussed the matter with his parents before trying to pursue what he described as “a long-standing dream”, to study in India.

“I believed in it so much that I never doubted it would not work out,” said Naidoo, who was accep­ted to study biotechnology, which deals with DNA and genetics.

He added that, coming from a family that is not rich financially but rich in heart, he considers this a big accomplishment he can feel proud of.

“From a young age my family has believed in me and motivated me.

“They would point out people in our community I could look up to and I hope that is what I will do for others.”

Although his mother will be sad to see him go, Naidoo confessed there is not an ounce of fear in him. Instead, he is looking forward to showing India what he is made of.

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South Africans have been benefiting from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholarships since 1995.

The scholarships are advertised in major papers around the country. These applications are then sent to India, where finalists are chosen. The Indian Consulate in Durban oversees the provinces of KZN and the Eastern Cape and this year, a record number of students will be going.Two candidates were originally chosen from Pietermaritzburg, but one will be attending.

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