24 Sep 2016

Welcome Speech by Mr K Barathan, CEO, SINDA at the SINDA Excellence Awards 2016 on 24 September 2016 at ITE College Central


Guest of Honour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong;

DPM and Chairman SINDA, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam,

SMS and President SINDA, Ms Indranee Rajah;

SINDA Board and Executive Committee;

Distinguished Guests;

Recipients, Parents, Ladies and Gentlemen,


  1. On behalf of SINDA, it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the 25th SINDA Excellence Award Ceremony.
  1. My heartiest congratulations to all 466 award recipients. You have done yourselves, your families, schools and the community proud. Your families, teachers and others who have encouraged you along the way and played a role in your achievements also share in your success today.


Rising above Challenges

  1. As you begin life’s journey, into the next stage of your education and later into your careers, you will take different paths and face different circumstances. While some of these will prove rewarding, there will be others that will come across as very challenging. At that point, it is vital that you do not view these as setbacks but rather, as opportunities to break new grounds and add to your abilities. If something does not go the way you want it to, take a step back, learn from it and improve.
  1. You will hear from an award recipient, Hairul Hakkim, later in the programme, who will speak on behalf of all recipients. As a young boy, he faced very challenging circumstances, and yet rose above these to become an individual who is a role model to the community. His is a story of overcoming adversity, and inspiration, that anyone can achieve great things if they work hard towards achieving it.


SINDA Aligned to National Efforts

  1. SINDA has been organising this Excellence Awards ceremony for the past 25 years, since our inception. And that underscores the importance we give to education and youth aspirations from onset. We want our students to achieve great things and we are here with you at every step of the way.
  1. Our efforts also align closely to the nation’s efforts. Developing people’s skills and capabilities is as close to SINDA’s heart as it is to the government. Every Singaporean has been provided with the resources to upgrade themselves through initiatives such as SkillsFuture and citizens are encouraged to be life-long learners. This represents a national shift towards preparing citizens for the future; and it is about inculcating in everyone a spirit of continued progress so that you, a youth with dreams, aspirations and hopes, can realise your fullest potential.
  1. While the government implements policies at national level, SINDA’s role is to understand the pulse of the Indian community, bring these national initiatives to the people and ensure that they benefit and progress. Our work in the areas of education, youth aspirations, family services and community partnerships allow us to offer the Indian community a multi-faceted and holistic option to bettering themselves. And I am happy that about 20,000 Indians actively benefit through our initiatives each year.
  1. 1 out of 5 recipients today have been impacted by SINDA programmes. And we are happy that we were able to help a child, encourage a student and motivate a youth in some way.



  1. On that note, I once again congratulate each SEA recipient for your hard work and well-deserved success and encourage you to continue giving your best in all that you do. Thank you.