Lessons in dreaming
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!