Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nandhakumar - How he overcame Dyslexia

I happened to buy a newly launched Tamil Weekly Magazine “Puthiya Thalaimurai” (New Generation). The editor of this magazine is Mr. Malan (Narayanan). Malan is the Editor of Sun News. The pricing is attractive at Rs.5/- per issue which hits the stands every Friday. The quality and content of the weekly is damn good. It covers a wide array of topics like success stories, self improvement, motivation, business etc., etc., Any Tamil magazine you buy half the content will be film based however I was surprised to not to find an iota of film news in this magazine. I strongly recommend you to buy this magazine.

I tried to translate one such article which talks about one Mr. Nandhakumar who was suffering from Dyslexia and how he overcame through his efforts. Hope you will find it interesting. Here we go..

Nandhakumar spent his childhood days at Avadi near Chennai. He did not like to go school and whatever he read nothing was getting registered in his mind. Studying was a big struggle for him. He discontinued his studies after sixth standard. He was suffering from Dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself primarily as a difficulty with reading and spelling. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. Although dyslexia is thought to be the result of a neurological difference, it is not an intellectual disability. Dyslexia is diagnosed in people of all levels of intelligence: below average, average, above average, and highly gifted.

Whatever a school drop-out will do like selling of lottery tickets, assistant in video shop, working in mechanic work shop for hours together , working in Xerox shop etc., Nandhakumar was also not an exception to these and was working without any aim about the future.

Nandhakumar was having two younger sisters and one younger brother. Though the family had no financial problem surprisingly all the three younger ones also discontinued their studies after their Sixth Standard. All the four children were treated badly by the people around and were not even included in playing games with other children of their area citing that their children too will become like them. Even the relatives too joined in degrading them.

Like Buddha got enlightened, based on an idea of one of his friend Nandhakumar started pursuing eight standard through private institute. He successfully completed his Eight Standard. Later he finished Tenth Standard also through private. He then thought of joining the regular school but none of the schools gave him admission. Again he decided to go private and finished his Twelfth standard (+2). After finishing Twelfth he decided to join a regular college to study graduation. But even here he faced lot of resistance in getting an admission but somehow he managed to join Ambedkar College at Vyasarpadi near Chennai for B.A. Literature.
After his graduation he did is P.G. in Literature. In addition to his studies he also enrolled in NCC.

He did not had any plans after finishing his P.G. Since he was participating in N.C.C. activities he was thinking to join Army and joined Officers Training Academy for enrolling himself in the Army. However due to an accident he had to discontinue that also. At that point time he came to know about the Civil Service exams. He used to think that for I.A.S or I.P.S one has to study for many years. However when he came to know that to get selected in the Civil Service clearing the Entrance is sufficient, he decided to have a try. He started preparing for the Civil Service Exams.

A person who was neglected by many and not even given admission in schools and colleges is now an IRS (Indian Revenue Service) Officer and holding a high post and managing an important portfolio at the Revenue Department in Chennai.

Now over to Nandhakumar

“I am amazed to find myself in this position after my school dropout. Suddenly I became interested in studying and whatever I am today is the result of my sincere efforts. The present education system is having a defect that it only produces mere learners does not make people intellectuals. The system should be overhauled to make student enjoy their studies rather than just mugging and learning. When I was preparing for the Civil Service Exams I found that whatever I have already read in my regular studies were only getting repeated. Some people are having misconception about the Civil Service Exams thinking that one has to pursue like higher education. It is only an entrance test and many people should write this exam without fear. After the sixth pay commission implementation now the salary is also attractive. Slowly I have also overcome the problem of dyslexia. Also all the younger one in my house have completed their studies and now all of them are working as lecturers.”

A sixth standard drop-out with dyslexia to rise from that situation to an IRS officer is indeed really a great achievement. Nandhakumar has set an example that despite many odds if one puts sincere efforts one can achieve his goal.


Tamil Magazine “Puthiya Thalaimurai” issue dated 22nd October 2009.