PHILANTHROPIST P. Thiagarajan was all smiles as he walked into SJK (T) Simpang Lima in Taman Sri Andalas, Klang.
He was well aware that the new school building he had sponsored would provide a better environment for pupils.
Over a decade, Thiagarajan has forked out close to RM3mil of his own cash to education-related projects which, he feels, reflect the true meaning of Deepavali – bringing light to the community.
His generosity has been acknowledged with his name chiselled in stone.
Thiagarajan’s name is engraved in the new wing of the four-storey school building, a tribute to his RM800,000 donation towards the RM1.3mil cost of replacing an old block of four classrooms.
The SRK (T) Simpang Lima board’s deputy chairman A.R. Thilagan, 57, said the school committee named the building after Thiagarajan, as he had helped provide for the children’s financial and educational needs.
With a strong business acumen, Thiagarajan entered into ventures with foreign firms to recycle discarded items, thus greening the earth.
In the process, he has become part of the new breed of people doing their bit for the environment by reducing the carbon footprint while generating great wealth.
Thiagarajan is the biggest individual supporter of Tamil schools in Selangor.
He has no reservations as long as it uplifts the future of Tamils.
If it could have an impact on few thousand children in the next eight years, it would bring joy into his heart and a song to his lips, he said.
Thiagarajan is known to be a generous donor to underprivileged children, school building projects and furnishing computer labs with personal computers to create IT-savvy students.
Determined to do all he can to lift Tamil school standards, he has pledged to contribute RM150,000 towards the construction of six classrooms at SJK (T) Ladang Highlands in Bandar Bukit Tinggi II, to accommodate another 300 pupils and have an enrolment of 1,100 pupils next year.
He plans to spend another RM3.3mil next year to build a three-storey hostel on 8ha in Kuala Langat to house students and give them free tuition. It will be a first for Indian children in Selangor.