FEATURES: Karan’s Golden Five Successes

Maneesha Raksha Karan is Fiji’s first Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholar to receive five gold medals. The 28-year-old was awarded by the Mysore University, which is in Karnatak
03 May 2015 09:33
FEATURES: Karan’s Golden Five Successes
Maneesha Raksha Karan (right), with her mother Anuradha Karan.

Maneesha Raksha Karan is Fiji’s first Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholar to receive five gold medals.

The 28-year-old was awarded by the Mysore University, which is in Karnatak State in India, where she completed her Masters in Journalism and Communication.

Originally from Salusalu Street, Labasa, Ms Karan dedicates her award to her parents.

“I dedicate these awards to my parents; they were the first two people who always encouraged and inspired me to further my studies,” Ms Karan said.

“After completing my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Information System from the University of the South Pacific my dad would sit down with me and ask what my future plans were and always encouraged me to do post-graduate studies.

“I was contemplating on undertaking some PG units when I met Fiji’s Ambassador to India, His Excellency Yogesh Karan (to whom I am not related to but am frequently asked whether I am because we share the same surname), who advised me to broaden my knowledge and expertise in my field, which was journalism.”

The third of four siblings then followed his advice and applied for the scholarship.

“The then ICCR director Dr Kamal Mishra was very helpful and he provided his assistance throughout my stay in India,” Ms Karan said.

“I wanted to grow my expertise in my field because there is a limited number who have the expertise in journalism in Fiji.”

She said her parents were the proudest when she received the scholarship.

“They also visited me twice in India and we toured many cities together,” Ms Karan said.

She had completed her studies last year and returned home in September.

Unfortunately her dad, Kishore Kumar, was hospitalised, and later died in January this year.

“I was privileged to have had spent quality loveable moments with my parents in India and then with my dad back home,” Ms Karan said.

She added her dad’s death was a shock to her family.

“He always took pride in his children and sacrificed a lot to ensure we siblings received the best education,” she said.

“I remember him saying, when I started my BA I would reach great heights, now that I have succeeded this far he left.

“I missed my dad at my graduation; I cried a lot with my friends in India and only still wish if he could have held my medals…he would have been the proudest.”

Her mother, Anuradha Karan, said she was proud of Maneesha and her achievement.

“The values her dad and I had natured our children with is showing its colours,” Ms Karan said.

“And if my husband had been here, he would have been glowing with pride because neither wealth nor fame mattered to him but the success of his children.”

Ms Karan first gained the knowledge of her awards towards the end of March at 11pm.

“I called my younger brother Krishneel to show him my list of awards.

“He looked down upon the laptop screen with big eyes and said, ‘You should go’.

“I half-heartedly said yes, and then rejected the idea because of missing dad. However, the date of graduation was only confirmed on April 6 and from there Krishneel organised my trip and had me on the next available flight.

“I would also like to thank the current ICCR director and the Indian Embassy for their swift actions in issuing me visa.

“There was great competition in my department amongst the batchmates as many of us were experienced journalists and were equally capable for the gold medals.”

She explained that it was intriguing to get first-hand information on media operations in various countries.

“There were times when we had to research and prepare for exams, it was challenging but that’s the path to success,” Ms Karan said.

After graduation, the only thing on her mind was to return to her mum and brother.

“I handed mum the medals and I saw her stare at it for a long time,” Ms Karan said.

“I know she missed my dad-this moment would have meant the whole world to him. My two elder sisters and brother-in-laws have always been supportive of my decisions and are proud of my achievement.

“I am thankful to ICCR for awarding me a wonderful opportunity to study in India.”

She said each State was diverse and different to each other and its experiences likewise.

She studied at the Mysore University which falls in Karnataka Sate, in South of India.

Mysore is also the second cleanest city in India, first being Chandigarh.

Mysore is also one of the safest cities.

For Ms Karan, India overall was a wonderful experience.

She has visited many places from Agra, Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat to Goa, Kerala, Ooty, Pune, and Pondicherry.

She befriended students from many other continents and countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Mongolia, and France. Students from almost 60 countries study in India and its states.

“My advice to the younger generation is to stay focused to your goals and work hard-you are the only one who can do it,” Ms Karan said.

“Gain an education, explore your possibilities and make the right decisions.

“You will meet many people who will try to pull you down, and many situations that can rip you apart, but stand strong, and you will definitely get what you dream of.”

At the moment she is unemployed and seeking a suitable job to build her career.

During this period, she has been compiling some short stories based on her experiences and the people she met, and plan to get published in the near future.

She had worked as a journalist at The Fiji Times for three years and then she joined as Information Officer at Fiji National University’s National Training and Productivity Centre for six months before departing for further studies.

Dr Mishra who is currently a Professor in University of Calcutta, which is the oldest University in India, said he was very proud of Ms Karan and her achievement.

“Her achievement reflects how her dedication to study with full of commitment, focus and value for scholarship opportunity,” Dr Mishra said.

“When I interviewed her, I had an assurance in my heart that this student will make the best use of scholarship and will make Fiji proud.

“With five gold medals she is the role model for every students studying in India on ICCR scholarship,” Dr Mishra said.

He added such student would be a bridge of information for Fiji and Indian relations.

“Fiji should be proud of her because of out of so many students who achieved so many awards and marked the name of her country in her university,” Dr Mishra said.

“I hope that more students would grab such awards and return Fiji and help Fiji’s economic and social development.”

In this context, Dr Mishra extended warm thanks to Fiji High Commissioner Yogesh Karan for his encouragement to all Fiji students as well as our Mission in Fiji and ICCR for best performance by the students who will be permanent bridge between Fiji and India.

Fiji High Commissioner to India Yogesh Karan said he was immensely pleased on Ms Karan’s excellent achievements in toping five subjects and winning five gold medals.

“On record, she is the first student from Fiji, on Indian Government scholarship programme, under the ICCR to have achieved such results and makes all of us proud,” Mr Karan said.

He said education in India was highly competitive at all levels and he congratulated her for her dedication and hard work.

Mr Karan added she had certainly set the standards high for all Fijians studying here and for herself as well.

“I take this opportunity to advise all students on behalf of the government of Fiji to work hard and benchmark with Ms Karan’s results and do even better,” Mr Karan said.

He said the ICCR had provided scholarships to many students over the past years and their students must take the best opportunity to study in India.

“The new scholarships offered to Fiji by the Government of India for this year will see an increase in number after Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Fiji last November and I encourage our students to make use of this opportunity,” Mr Karan said.

“I warmly congratulate Ms Karan for making Fiji proud with her outstanding results and we wish her all success in her future undertakings.”

High Commissioner of India to Fiji Anumula Gitesh Sarma also congratulated Ms Karan on her achievements.

“We are happy to note that Ms Karan’s determination and dedication towards her studies is truly inspiring,” Mr Sarma said.

“I am certain that we will hear of the other achievements in her career.”

He said Ms Karan was a good example for all students from this region studying in India.

Mr Sarma added academic goals needed to be clearly defined and worked towards.

“ICCR, Government of India, has increased scholarship slots for Fiji nationals from 25 to 30,” Mr Sarma said.

“More students are encouraged to apply and take advantage of opportunities in India.”



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