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Professor Dr. G. Suresh Kumar is not only a tropical medicine and parasitology professor from Universiti Malaya with 11 awards to his name but a social worker, playwright and management consultant.

But in 1980, things did not look good for Suresh, who was studying at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur. He had failed his Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia examination, with very poor results in Mathematics and Chemistry. He sat for the examination again and failed.

'My career guidance counselor told me never to take up science as my results were so poor. He asked me to try law, accountancy; any other course except science. Everyone else discouraged me. Some asked me to work and others said I was a total write-off.'

The turning point in his life came when he returned home one day and opened the door to his father P. Govind's room. 'I saw him crying. I was the eldest in the family and he had always wanted me to be a doctor. I closed the door silently. I went out and did some soul searching. I decided then that I would make sure my father would have the opportunity to call me "doctor".'

Suresh knew that he had to do something. He had to start somewhere. After consulting some family elders, friends and classmates, he enrolled himself at Tunku Abdul Rahman College. He had decided to do his diploma and then his bachelor's degree in science. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree, he joined the Institute for Medical Research. At the institute, Suresh was assigned as research assistant to Dr. Mak Joon Wah who was his parasitology teacher.

`He was the one who taught me about parasites. He was an inspiring figure and I became interested in the field.'

Dr. Mak sent Suresh to do his postgraduate diploma in applied parasitology and entomology. Suresh studied hard and received a scholarship as the top student to pursue his master's at University Malaya. Then he received another scholarship to do his PhD at the National University of Singapore. In Singapore, Suresh did not just bury his nose in his books. He was involved in social work in the evening. He taught in teen youth classes and conducted drama workshops.

`I began to realize that the more I got involved in service work, the better I became in my field. Only when you serve and help others do your brains get activated.'

Then came the greatest moment of Suresh's life: his parents came to attend his convocation. 'I think any child can do anything he wants, but to fulfill the ambition of your parents is the greatest satisfaction. That was a moment in eternity when my parents were sitting there in the convocation hall and I went to receive my scroll. When I placed the scroll at their feet, they were in tears.'

Suresh, who is the deputy president of the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of Malaysia, has written more than 70 sketches and plays which reflect values, unity and integration as well as the promotion of culture and tradition. Why did he get involved in this? 'It gives you purpose and meaning. It gives much more depth to what life is all about. I have more than 180 publications and papers, and not one can I take with me when I die. No one really bothers what you believe in. What really matters is what are the consequences of that belief.'

Suresh said his group was also working with the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry to organize an inter-religious youth camp. Besides writing plays, Suresh has also authored four management books. He has just recently won the Malaysian Toray Science and Technology Award for his 17 years of pioneering work in the field of Blastocystics. Blastocystics is a protozoan parasite known to cause diarrhea, stomach bloating and other gastro-intestinal symptoms. Suresh had also won the Geneva International Innovation Gold Medal for developing a diagnostic test for Blastocystics.
 

So, what is Suresh's message?

`Nobody in this world is stupid. No one in this world needs to feel that they are underprivileged or marginalized. If a hapless individual like me could pick himself up and do it, anybody can. Just believe in yourself. There are three simple formulas to follow: love and serve your parents, use every talent and skill to serve society and love all without differentiating between them.'

   
Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1.

a) From paragraph 3, what was the counselor's advice ?

b) From paragraph 4, what incident was the turning point in Suresh's life ?

  2.

a) From paragraph 5, where did Suresh enrol himself ?

b) From paragraph 6, how did Suresh become interested in parasites ?

  3.

a) From paragraph 7, what was the highest level of education Suresh had achieved ?

b) From paragraph 8, which word ahs the same meaning as the word 'started' ?

  4.

a) From paragraph 8, what did Suresh realize as he got involved in social work ?

b) From paragraph 11, explain what Blastocystics is.

  5. Explain in your own words, what is Suresh conveying in his message ?
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Answers
 

1.

a) The counselor told Suresh never to take up science as his results were so poor.

b) It was when he saw his father crying in his room.

 

2.

a) He enrolled himself at Tunku Abdul Rahman College.

b) He became interested as Dr. Mak, his parasitology teacher, was an inspiring figure.

 

3.

a) Phd at National University of Singapore

b) activated

 

4.

a) He began to realize that he became better in his chosen field.

b) It is a protozoan parasite known to cause diarrhea, stomach bloating and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

 

5.

If one believes in himself, one can do anything to become successful n life.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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