Dharma was born in the Negamam town near Pollachi. His family then moved to Tirupur. His dad, Vijayakumar, and mom, Chithra, are both temporary daily laborers in a clothing company in Tirupur. Dharma’s younger brother is in grade 12 in the same town. The family does not own, but rents a single room roof-tiled home in Tirupur. His aging father is not doing well healthwise.
Dharma is now (in 2018) studying 2nd year Medical (called MBBS in India) at the Stanley Government Medical College in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Dharma was studying in the Government (public) school – Tamil medium - until 10th grade after which he was encouraged by his teachers (in particular Ms. Saraswathi) to join private for high school so he may be more successful. He got a scholarship for the high school. He also got his motivation from his seniors who get extra private coaching as they do well in school. He used to be a topper in his class always. Dharma scored a whooping 1181/1200 in the 12th grade exam. The medium of instruction was in the language Tamil until 12th grade for Dharma. Now in Med school, his instruction language is English which was never an issue for him in comparison to the financial support he needs at this time. He still struggles to converse in English but feels confident to write / read. He’s only one from his school to have bagged the seat in the Med school from a Tamil medium section.
His hobbies are drawing and playing carrom board with friends. Dharma and his friends pitched in money to buy a carrom board set (costs $10 approx) and started playing for fun. But they built the skillset that he started to compete in tournaments at district / state level. Dharma is now playing carrom board representing his college in tournaments. Dharma wants to specialize in General Medicine or Surgery after his UG.
When we explained how our high schoolers raise money, he was very impressed and gives his sincere appreciation. True to the meaning of his name (Dharma means – one who has mercy for the downtrodden) he said he will make sure all our efforts will be paid off! He sounded very confident and was able to converse well with us – in Tamil. He’s determined to give back to the society once he starts his medical practices.