24-year-old Anusha Genesan from Cheras has travelled through a painful, harrowing, and arduous path to gain her first class, BA in Economics with a 3.80 GPA from Universiti Utara Malaysia. Her most noble and exemplary characteristics are not something that can merely be seen in her academic achievements but are something that is far more evident in her thoughtful and loving actions towards those around her. Born to a hardworking street sweeper and a mother who is home-ridden due to her illness, Anusha had lived a life of poverty, where the next plate of food was something that was uncertain. As the eldest of two younger siblings, a younger sister who is currently pursuing her degree in economics and a younger brother who is currently in Form 4, Anusha had to become a responsible and capable individual at a young age. In her budding youth, the young girl’s life was filled with the brutality of poverty, hunger, and social alienation. Her primary school days were filled with being ostracised and outcast by her classmates because she lacked their affluence. Her world became abysmal without any light of hope that could guide her. The fact that she was not having her basic needs met as a child meant that she could not properly focus on her studies, but by the grace of her teachers both in school and her tuition, notably Ms. Pilicia and Ms. Pravina, she had managed to nurture her spirit back to life, and the young Anusha began applying herself in her studies. The efforts of her labour finally came to fruition when she received 5A’s in her UPSR.
The light that was flamed in the young girl’s heart carried her into her secondary school days, where she was accepted to study at SMK Seri Bintang Selatan, Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras, which is a Kluster Kecemerlangan school. This prestigious school only admits some of the brightest young minds in the nation, and young Anusha was selected to attend here precisely because she embodied the brilliance and perseverance that the school preached upon. She carried with her passion and determination to succeed in her studies; in her SPM, she had gained 5A’s in her science stream course, but ultimately, due to the kind advice of her teacher, Puan Vijaya, she detracted from her science stream and pursued her STPM in the arts. She had continued her From 6 education at the prestigious Victoria Institution, the oldest and one of the most prestigious educational establishments in the country, where she earned an astounding 3.46 GPA in her STPM for the subjects of Economics, Business, Accounts, and General Studies. It must be appreciated that, through each step of the way, the tentative and devotional attention that Anusha had received from her teachers had truly guided her to become the best version of herself. Anusha’s journey is a tender tale of how important caring and dedicated educators are to raising a student to their full potential. Her teacher, Puan Vijaya, was ultimately right in advising her to take up the arts stream, which had led her to study economics in her bachelor’s programme. Anusha’s incredibly academic prowess had led her to be accepted into Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Anusha is not only a young Tamil girl who has been hindered economically from achieving her dreams of education, but she is also an individual with anemia. Through her illness and her socioeconomic circumstances, she has braved it all to attain her rightful educational accolades. During her first semester of university, she actually missed out on most of it due to contracting severe chicken pocks, but that never extinguished the spirit within her. Although she had joined late into the programme, Anusha had managed to get back on track with her other batchmates with the wonderful aid of her friends and professors. Her inspiring and determined journey to attain education had made even the Vice Conselor at the convocation to share her story with the other attendees, expressing how inspirational and exemplary Anusha’s academic life has been.
It is not only her determination to excel in education but also her incredibly generous and altruistic heart that must also be expressed here. Anusha is a soul who always watches over and emotes genuine love for those around her; even through aching hardship, her kindness is unwavering. In 2021, during the gruesome and painful days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anusha lost the precious lives of three of her closest and most beloved relatives to the deadly virus. Even though her heart and soul were in excruciating dread over the loss of her loved ones, the then 22-year-old Anusha had taken on the immense responsibility of caring for them throughout their illness and till their deaths, even taking complete lead in their last rights. Anusha had stood as a beacon of hope for her family and her cousin, the last remaining descendant of her deceased relatives’ family. She showed courage, valiance, and the undying and immortal nature of love that defeats even the grief of death. She had given her cousin the encouragement, love, and companionship he needed to overcome his grief and continue on with his life.
Anusha’s love and her determination are a limitless entity carrying her through life. It uplifts not only her own spirit but also the wavering souls all around her. Part of her determination to even pursue her studies in economics was to break the heinous societal belief that Tamil people could not progress and achieve success in this field. She wanted to create her own path; she was determined to pave a new hope for her family and for students like her who have been stripped of their education and their spirits because of poverty. Anusha stands tall and proud as an emblem of hope and determination for all, showing that any form of societal evil can be overcome and transformed through tremendous and consistent action.
Images Provided By Muhammad Farhan Param Kunaseigaran