WELCOME ADDRESS BY MR K BARATHAN, CEO, SINDA AT THE SINDA EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2017 ON SATURDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2017 AT ITE COLLEGE CENTRAL
Guest of Honour, Minister for Education (Schools) & Second Minister for Transport, Mr Ng Chee Meng;
Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman SINDA, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam;
Senior Minister of State and President SINDA, Ms Indranee Rajah;
High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Mr Jawed Ashraf
SINDA Board and Executive Committee Members;
Award Recipients and Parents; Ladies and Gentlemen;
A very good afternoon to all of you.
About the SINDA Excellence Awards
- It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 26th SINDA Excellence Awards Ceremony, today. My heartiest congratulations to all 485 award recipients. This award recognises the dedication, commitment and hard work that you have applied in your chosen path.
- The SEA ceremony is an opportunity for SINDA and the Indian community to celebrate your remarkable achievements. The success of each one of you, is the community’s shared success.
A New Way Forward
- Maximising educational opportunities for all students is SINDA’s chief mandate. In recent years, SINDA has decentralised its programmes, bringing these to where the people live, so that our services remain highly accessible. The four Self-Help Groups will also set up a joint Centre to benefit students and youth of all races. The pilot centre in Yishun signals our concerted efforts in working together, leveraging upon our combined resources and expertise.
- SINDA’s focus is in providing a holistic network of services, in collaboration with partners, to effectively shape a child’s life. It is about sufficient upstream initiatives that address matters at the root cause and a host of complementary programmes that follow each child on their journey.
- That is why I am excited about the coming year. At pre-school level, SINDA will offer enrichment and educational programmes to kids as young as three years old, to encourage their active learning. We will set up a fund for children to tap on, for enrichment that will add value to their growth.
- We will also introduce new programmes for ‘parents-to-be’ as they start their fulfilling journey into parenthood. For family members, a host of digital literacy elements, aligned with the Smart Nation movement, ensure that they can benefit and leverage upon the exciting opportunities that the future will present. All of these initiatives are being done with the belief that no child should be denied opportunities, owing to their circumstances.
- For youth, SINDA is exploring values-based programmes that will instill in them good virtues, keep them motivated and equip them with the right skill sets to pursue their passions in life.
- We saw such youths at the recent Southeast Asian Games 2017, where our national athletes thrilled Singaporeans with their achievements. Today we have 26 of them as we celebrate excellence, in all its forms. I am sure that these athletes’ paths to success would not have been an easy one. They would have managed a number of struggles and crossed a number of hurdles in excelling at their chosen sport.
- Just like them, I hope that each and every one of you will go on to aspire and achieve, no matter what the life circumstances are. Life is about living — so, remember to experiment and experience.
A Significant Role for SEA Recipients at SINDA
- I invite all SEA recipients to be active contributors to our community and nation. SINDA runs over 50 programmes, impacting close to 20,000 individuals within the Indian community. I encourage you to come forward and join our programmes, especially those that are part of our SINDA Youth Club or SYC. SYC’s programmes groom you to become confident, active and passionate contributors to the community.
- On a national front, youths have various opportunities to contribute to nation-building – whether volunteering your time, energy or contributing to good causes. There is a role for everyone to play in bettering Singapore as a whole. It is about a spirit of continued progress, for self and others, so that every individual, can realise his or her aspirations in Singapore. There is a verse in the Tamil classical text Thirukkural – காலத்தினாற் செய்த நன்றி சிறிதெனினும் ஞாலத்தின் மாணப்பெரிது. It means: the good that we do at a time of need, no matter how small, is in itself much larger than the world. So, never think that your contributions are insignificant. When youth come together with a positive and collective intent for a good cause, great things can be achieved for the community and the nation.
- The way forward in bettering our community is a fruitful and exciting one, as we strive to meet the demands of changing social landscapes. And as our hope and future, the contributions of you, the youth, matter in making a difference to the lives of others. As a nation, as a community and as individuals, we must work together to ensure progress for all Singaporeans.
- On that note, my heartiest congratulations to each one of you for your achievements and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.