Community leader honoured through bursary for disabled students

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Mrs VR Nathan 

In a book written about him, the late Mr V R Nathan was described as a ‘community servant extraordinary’. Born in India, the seemingly ‘ordinary’ Hindu Singaporean worked all his life in the same bank, built a life of faithful service and eventually became a highly-valued and respected member of the community.

To honour his legacy and fulfil his dream, his wife, Mrs Kamalasarasu w/o Ranganathan, established the VR Nathan Bursary to help financially needy students – with special priority for disabled students – at the National University of Singapore.

“My late husband was an ardent advocate of life-long learning and he diligently supported various educational initiatives,” shares Mrs Nathan.

Mr V R Nathan’s service started when he was first called upon to assist in temple management. In 1983, Singapore’s former president Mr S R Nathan approached him to join the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB), to sort out its financial state of affairs. He made significant contributions at HEB and eventually became its Chairman for 15 years.

The well-respected community leader was also the Chairman of the Sri Mariamman Temple Management Committee and the President of the Inter-Religious Organisation. For serving the Indian community with distinction and unwavering commitment, he was conferred the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the government of Singapore in 1986.

“VR’s personal motto was to seek excellence in every sphere of life, and nurture the conviction to help those who are disadvantaged. I hope his life and work can inspire the bursary recipients to achieve their academic aspirations confidently. They should also always remember to engage in community work, and show tangible support for the disadvantaged,” Mrs Nathan adds.

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