26 Sep 2020



  1. Hello everyone! Firstly, my congratulations to all SINDA Excellence Awards recipients! the ongoing pandemic may have prevented us from commending your success in person, but we continue to celebrate your accomplishments, and share in the pride with you and your families, virtually.
  2. Each year at SINDA, we look forward to the SINDA Excellence Awards ceremony, or SEA, because it is not just an awards ceremony – it is a showcase of the immense talent and diligent efforts within our Indian community, and the many achievements that have resulted from these. And together with your concerted efforts, the guidance and support from your families, friends, loved ones, schools and community organisations make these achievements so much more meaningful.
  3. This year, we honour the largest cohort since the inception of SEA, at over 650 recipients across 19 categories. And amongst this cohort, we are happy to celebrate the successes of students such as Sundaram Mohan Shakthi, a recipient of the prestigious Public Service Commission scholarship. We wish her all the best as she embarks onto a new journey at Yale-NUS College.


Multiple Pathways to Success

  1. Each one of you is on a unique journey to success and in today’s landscape, every journey matters. The key goal is to carve out a niche for yourself, something that you are passionate in, and channel your fullest efforts into it. And when you aspire to progress and excel at every step of the way, you will ensure lifelong learning.
  2. Take for example, Kousalya d/o Selvakumar. A recipient from the ITE category, Kousalya, at the age of 34, set out to accomplish her goal of attaining a nursing degree. But this could not have been easy, especially for a mother of four with so many other responsibilities. However, with the support of her husband and family, she worked very hard and made it onto the Director’s List, every semester at ITE.
  3. Today, Kousalya has moved on to the next step and is currently pursuing her Diploma at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, with the aim to provide for her patients’ needs to the best of her abilities. We wish Kousalya well and commend her spirit and fortitude in striving towards her dreams and ensuring continued self-progress, despite heavy responsibilities.


Guiding Students Towards Success

  1. At SINDA, we are focused on providing our students with as much educational assistance and opportunities as possible, to support their academic and life pursuits. This Covid-19 pandemic is one example, in which we had ensured that all our students had access to the right resources for home-based learning and that they could continue their tutorials with us virtually. It was not the easiest of tasks for this to happen, but our staff, educators and partners joined hands to make sure that this could be achieved in a very short period of time.
  2. All our efforts are to ensure that no child falls behind just because he or she did not have access to opportunities. And that is why I am so proud that 18% of this year’s recipients are from SINDA programmes, and that we were able to play a role in their success.
  3. Among these SINDA recipients is 19-year-old Aakash Dubey S/O Anil Kumar. Having participated in SINDA tutorials throughout his educational journey – from Primary 1 all the way to junior college – Aakash embodies the impact and success of SINDA’s education programmes. He tells us that the guidance and personal attention that he got from our tutors developed his understanding of key concepts in his core subjects. Once his understanding grew, his confidence and interest in these subjects naturally grew, together with his aim to do well in these.
  4. Today, Aakash joins SEA as the top A-level student among our recipients this year. Inspired by how his teachers helped him overcome setbacks, he aspires to become a clinician, to help others who are going through their darkest times. I am very heartened that we could play a role in grooming bright young minds like Aakash, and individuals like him encourage us to continue our meaningful work, so that they in return, can help others.


Recognising Holistic Achievements

  1. In the spirit of holistic education, these SEA awards also recognise excellence in the arts and sports. Among the many recipients who have made waves in non-academic arenas, is Jovi Jayden Kalaichelvan, who receives the Singapore Schools Sports Council Special Colours Award for his achievements in canoeing.
  2. The 19-year-old is currently a proud member of Singapore’s national canoeing team. But life for Jovi has not been easy. In 2017, after the passing of his father, his mother became the sole breadwinner, and they have faced tough financial difficulties ever since. Very recently, the current pandemic also caused his mother to lose her job.
  3. Even under such circumstances, Jovi remains resolute. As the eldest of four children, he wants to set a good example for his siblings, make his father proud and ensure that his mother’s hard work and sacrifices were not in vain. Having won medals for his school and competing in the World Championships for Singapore, Jovi is determined to become an athlete of the highest calibre and has been training even harder, ever since.
  4. I wish Jovi the very best in his endeavours. His story and his values of perseverance and discipline are an inspiration to us all. And these are important qualities that every single one of us must have, so that we possess the tenacity and resilience required to tide over every single challenge that comes our way and emerge victorious each time round.


Working Together and Emerging Stronger

  1. These three individuals – Kousalya, Aakash and Jovi – are only some of the countless inspirational recipients. And I invite you to read more about our other top-achievers at a specially created microsite – www.SEAawards.sg.
  2. And while you are on our website, I also invite you to join SINDA in our efforts. Each one of your efforts, no matter how small, will be meaningful, especially at times like these. Platforms such as the SINDA Excellence Awards Alumni and the SINDA Youth Club are excellent opportunities for you, our young minds, to come together, collaborate and find innovative ways to help not just our community, but all Singaporeans. And through such contributions, we hope that you will not just be champions in the community, but also role models for your fellow peers.



  1. While we could not organise a physical event to celebrate your success, your achievements remain important to us and I congratulate you for ensuring that excellence is at the heart of all that you do. And as you journey along your path, I am confident that you will continue to make your families, schools, the community and the nation proud. I wish each and every one of you the very best in your way forward.


Thank You.