Lessons in dream­ing

Friday - - Editor's Letter - Edi­tor Karen Pasquali Jones kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

Ialways knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My friends would boast of be­com­ing an as­tro­naut, a pop star, ac­tress or model, but I never wa­vered from my be­lief that I’d be a jour­nal­ist. Even as young as seven, I was writ­ing ar­ti­cles, de­mand­ing that my mother sub­scribe to a daily broad­sheet for me to read, and watch­ing the news pro­grammes while she begged to re­lax over a soap opera. I was lucky that I grew up in a coun­try where ed­u­ca­tion is free and avail­able to all. Murthy Mu­ru­gan wasn’t so for­tu­nate.

He was do­ing well at school in Tamil Nadu, south­ern In­dia, when his fa­ther de­serted the fam­ily. The 10-year-old had to drop out of school and start work at a con­struc­tion site, car­ry­ing bricks on his head for Rs80 (Dh5) a day to feed his lit­tle brother and sis­ter. But he was des­per­ate to learn, and af­ter work Murthy would go to a tea shop just so he could read the dis­carded pa­pers and mag­a­zines.

Even­tu­ally, af­ter four years, two govern­ment of­fi­cials vis­ited his home to find out why he didn’t go to school – and helped his mother fi­nan­cially so Murthy could re­turn. He quickly be­came top of the class and passed his ex­ams with the high­est mark in the district. Murthy is now study­ing to be a doc­tor and wants to go back to treat the poor people in his vil­lage when he qual­i­fies. Read his re­mark­able story on page 20. Let me know what you think!

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