Are you worried about pursuing your dreams because something is holding you back? This may change your mind.
Meet Dusha Nanthakumar who has secured the Top 10 MonStar Awards 2020 spot! (Now that’s a big deal!)
Dusha shared that she was contacted by the MonStar organisers after one of her university batchmate, Farah Adlena secretly nominated her for this award.
The MonStar Award combines Malaysia’s young talents in recognising them. The goal of the MonStar Award is to recognise those who possess skills that go beyond academic studies or who are actively involved in extracurricular activities. Malaysian and international students who are presently enrolled at Malaysian institutes are eligible to apply. At the initial stage, 100 applications will be picked, but only 10 will be honoured and awarded.
“I submitted an application with a video and two write-ups. Soon, I was filtered from all candidates to Top 100 and Top 50. Before the revelation of Top 10, I also received special mentions from @connect.tulc and @therumahroypodcast. The final stage was revealing the Top 10 Young Talents by one of the juries, Mr George Ang during the award night last year,” Dusha said.
“I felt grateful to be in the Top 10 of Malaysia Young Talent Awards 2020 with the posted video of holistic concept. I felt honoured too because the nomination was from a charismatic jury, Mr George Ang (CEO of A&W Malaysia),”
Besides that, the Kajang native had a chance to work with the Ministry of Home Affairs Malaysia. Even though finding an internship in the pandemic was not an easy feat but with the Almighty’s grace, she was selected for the internship in the Psychology Management Unit at the Ministry of Home Affairs Malaysia for 16 weeks. Her job scopes involved doing presentations on topics pertaining to psychology, being the emcee for many events and administration works.
“I delved into new experiences in the field of psychology. It is an honour to have met credible experts referrals of MOHA and four nurturing supervisors. I am thankful for having considerate and thoughtful colleagues as well,” she said.
The 24-year-old who is currently pursuing her postgraduate studies at University Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) has accomplished some great things in the last four years. She participated in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Youth Debate in Cambodia in 2018. She was placed second in the International HASPEC Public Speaking Competition, and Dusha won the Pertandingan Pidato Piala Kenyalang Kebangsaan the same year.
In 2019, she participated in the Parliamentary Debathon of Motion 1 and was awarded the Best Debater with the most votes (1257). Dusha also won first in both the Malaysian National Public Speaking Competition 2019 (Adult Category) and the Pidato Pendidikan Piala Naib Canselor 2019.
The following year, Dusha received an Outstanding Delegate Award at the International Model United Nations Online Conference 19.0, which had delegates from over 85 nations. (Wow!)
Dusha has been a moderator for international events including panels from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the US, Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam on human rights sphere and leadership context.
She also serves as a program director for both Mental Health Awareness Program YOU STRESSED? DISTRESS OR EUSTRESS 2020 and Community Program ‘Ibubapa Minda Cemerlang, Anak-anak Jiwa Gemilang’ 2019 events.
She was awarded the Above and Beyond Award from the UPSI Psychology Association.
“My main supporters have always been my family members: my father, my mother and my younger sister. My parents have full heartedly dedicated their whole life for their children,”
“My father, Mr Nanthakumar Batubanaban is willing to go to the extent that he takes my interest and passion seriously. He always gives ideas and we brainstorm on them. He has made tons of sacrifices along the way too, sometimes gathering information about mine and my sister’s future plans till late night. The next day, he comes up to our rooms and explains the ideas to us. All the members of the family will sit and discuss how we can work it out,” she expressed her thoughts.
“My mom is a very selfless lady, she always provides me with beautiful, encouraging words.”
Punithavathi Purushothanam would sew clothes for Dusha’s storytelling performance based on her preferences and recommendations. Her mother even had her attire altered for Dusha’s performance.
Dusha’s inspiration is her younger sister, Misha Nanthakumar.
“I’m grateful and very blessed to have a younger sister like her. She is a bold ambitious woman, born-innovator, who is sharp and confident in her facts. This is the reason that I admire her,” she proudly said.
Misha is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at University Putra Malaysia (UPM) and just finished an internship in the UK at Hult Prize Business School’s Accelerator Program as a member of the content team.
Dusha also said someone who inspires others doesn’t have to be a prominent person, the one who is beside us can also be an inspiration.
Her father funded her tuition fees for the first semester, but she paid them herself the next semester using the money she won in competitions. She also makes money by giving talks, serving on a competition’s panel of judges, and serving on a jury.
Dusha said “We can’t be expecting financial aid from our parents for our lifetime. They would have their personal expenses and one of the things that make our parents happy is to know that their kids are independent and able to manage by themselves.”
Dusha said her career goal is to explore opportunities in Cognitive Psychology (Multiple Intelligence) and to be a public speaker in the field of psychology. In the future, she wants to contribute to community improvement activities such as sharing and professing Cognitive Psychology and the bright young lass wants to pursue her dream of continuing the legacy of her parents’ parenting spirit when she has her own family.
“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” — Steve Jobs
Keep achieving to greater heights, Dusha!