A tea boy’s ambition

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FNU graduate Nagesh Reddy with his dad Dharma Reddy. Nagesh plans to move abroad because of his dad. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Coaxed by ambition and driven by perseverance, Nagesh Reddy treats every job as stepping stones for the greater things he anticipates in life.

He entered the local labour force many years ago as a kitchen hand. Then he became a cleaner and tea boy.

While Nagesh was serving tea and cleaning up, he pursued further education. Today, the 29-year-old is qualified in the field of aged and community care, ready to fulfil his dreams of becoming successful in life.

Accompanied by his dad to the ceremony held recently at the civic centre in Labasa, Nagesh couldn’t hold back his tears as he hugged and thanked his dad, Dharma, for all his sacrifices and hard work.

“I’m so happy. God is good and has helped me achieve my dreams by giving me the boldness, courage and strength to face my challenges and stay focused,” he said.

“After my mum passed away while I was still in secondary school, it was just myself and dad so I made sure I studied hard.”

Nagesh attended the Naduna Arya Vocational Centre, hoping to finish a cooking course within a year. Then he worked for four years in a restaurant as a kitchen hand and chef. Knocking off work in the evening, Nagesh would rush home to cook dinner for his dad.

“Sometimes he cooks but most times I prefer to cook because I want to look after him and ensure that he eats well before he sleeps,” he said. “My dad is a cane farmer and works very hard during the day. It’s his hard work and sacrifices that supported me throughout life.”

After four years at the restaurant, Nagesh applied for a cleaner’s job at the Sangam College of Nursing and has been working there until today.

“While serving tea and cleaning the office, I was also studying and I am blessed to have lecturers and friends who kept encouraging me to pursue further studies.

“Without them, I don’t think I would have been able to achieve my dreams. This is just the beginning and I’m a bit emotional because I really miss my mum. I wish she was still here with me.” Many friends doubted Nagesh and never thought he’d graduate from the nursing college.

“I think because they see me as a tea boy and a cleaner but I have proven them wrong,” he said.

“I believe that if we set our minds on achieving our goals we will do the impossible and reach greater heights in life.

“By getting this certificate (National Certificate in Aged Care and Community Care), I certainly plan to further my studies and get a diploma and even higher qualification. I plan to travel overseas to work so I can better support my dad.”

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