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It’s raining medals

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Winners: Sripathi Kamath (left) and Archana Shenoy.
Winners: Sripathi Kamath (left) and Archana Shenoy.

DEEPA KURUP

Two Mangalore students bag seven gold medals each at RGUHS convocation

It was a seemingly endless wait for young dentist Archana Shenoy and the high-profile dignitaries on stage, as the compere read out her long list of achievements. The audience burst into applause, only to soon discover that the next achiever to take the stage, Sripathi Kamath B., a medical student, equalised her score when he too took home seven gold medals for academic excellence, at the annual convocation of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.

Besides excellent academic record and commitment to their chosen professions, both scholars have something else in common: they graduated from Yenepoya College in Mangalore.

No novices to academic success, both are completely at ease speaking to mediapersons. It was exciting to receive awards from ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair, and it felt “great” to be felicitated for all the hard work, they both say. But both are equally eager to “serve the community,” as they put it.

Dr. Kamath, currently pursuing his M.S. in Ophthalmology, is a confident young man, and is all set to live the “larger social purpose” that doctors are committed to.

“I am not interested in going to the U.S. or anywhere abroad,” he says. Unlike hordes of medicos who even took to the street to resist rural internships, this award winner says he wants to return to his hometown in Karkala (in Udupi district) to set up a community ophthalmology centre. He hopes that he will be able to mobilise enough funds and support to do so.

Community service

He scored an aggregate of 80 per cent in MBBS — the highest mark so far. “I want to do community-oriented ophthalmology and improve eye camp services in rural areas.” Dr. Kamath says he was inspired by his late grandfather who persuaded him to become a doctor to serve the community. When asked if he will work in a private hospital, he says “I may not!” but points out that he is fortunate he studies on a merit seat and is not bogged down by a humongous loan to pay-off.

On the other hand, the soft-spoken Dr. Shenoy has not charted out her course, but wants to pursue a post-graduate degree in dentistry.

Having done her schooling in Mysore, she said that methodical studies and hard work got her the medals. She thanked her parents and lecturers for their help.

Currently living in Delhi with her parents, she says she is a believer of the Bahai religion, and her faith gives her the strength to perform to the best of her ability. However, she points out that even as she holds these medals, she does hold a grouse.

“All my hard work seems to be of no use since it can’t even secure me a simple PG seat in a good college of my choice. I have written the entrances, and I am waiting to see how things go….but should my marks and achievements not give me some edge?” she asks, indignantly.


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