You’ve probably come across judgments from others about how poor your chances are of succeeding in life if you come from a troubled or broken family.
Selvakumar Mariappan, an Indian senior lecturer and graduate With A Ph.D. in Engineering From Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) proves doubters wrong with his awe-inspiring education story.
“Growing up in a B40 group family in a drug-infested and gangsterism background was never an easy ride for me and my family”, said the recent USM Ph.D. graduate.
Sharing his story with WeirdKaya, Selvakumar speaks about his family’s upbringing and the motivation that brought him to where he stands today.
“ My father was an ex-convict and involved in gangsterism during his youth age. Due to encountering messed life struggles, gangsterism was the path he ended up on,” he shared.
Selvakumar‘s father never neglected his family despite his dark-crime life. What more is the old man never failed to provide a better life for his children and keep them away from walking in his footsteps. Selvakumaran said his dad left behind his dark life and went to work as a laborer and in recent years as a security guard.
Reminiscing good old times
“There are some times when I recall few memories, I understand the reason my dad was harsh back then. For instance, during my school days, my dad would punish me to make sure I focus on my studies. If he did not make that move back then, I wouldn’t have been earning a Ph.D. today.
I also recall the day my father sat down and confided to me that he had a terrible past because of his poor upbringing and quality of education. What motivated me was when my dad said he did not have enough money to send us for further education and that if I ever wanted to study beyond the stars I had to do it myself. It was then, I decided to change my family’s life,” shared Selvakumaran.
Selvakumaran’s education journey
Taking his father’s words to heart, Selvakumar engaged himself in his academics and scored straight A’s all throughout his primary and secondary school years. After high school, the young man went to enroll himself at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) to study Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately, UNITEN didn’t offer to fund foundation studies, forcing him to withdraw from the opportunity.
He later got a scholarship offer from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) instead to pursue a diploma in electrical engineering. Along with that, he decided to apply for many JPA scholarships because he didn’t want his excellent SPM results to go to waste. Selvakumar then completed his Diploma with a CGPA of 2.84, which was considered to be mediocre by his standards.
He then applied to continue with his degree at UTeM but was transferred to the technology engineering faculty instead. However, he didn’t let this minor setback affect him and managed to complete his degree with a CGPA of 3.91.
Having completed his studies, Selvakumar faced another challenge finding a job. In the midst of doing so, he was given an opportunity to pursue his Ph.D. studies along with a scholarship at USM.
There were more obstacles he faced when wanting to pursue his Ph.D. He was informed that he couldn’t begin until he started his Master’s research and converted it into a Ph.D. research. Nevertheless, he spent the next six months studying microelectronics without pay.
Life will always throw challenges at you, but every time you manage those, you grow stronger, and will definitely achieve the goals you target
Selvakumar also attributes his success to his supervisor Dr. Jagadheswaran, whom he called the “one who made him who I am today”. As for his father, Selvakumar paid the ultimate tribute any parent could ask for by putting his father’s name on the Ph.D. certificate instead of his own.
“Never let people steal your dream and make you complacent. Never ask why you’re doing it. Instead, ask yourself why not do it and see how much you can achieve!”- Selvakumar Mariappan
Congratulations on your recent success and your story indeed inspire many.