THEN AND NOW: Keeping the faith in tough times

PETALING JAYA: There was a time in her life when M. Givianaa felt helpless and directionless.

The 26-year-old had always wanted to be a doctor and had the grades to pursue her dream.

But she could not get funding or a scholarship to study medicine.

She scored A1s in all eight subjects in the 2014 All India Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, a pre-university level exam.

Her achievement was recognised by the Kerala state chief minister, who presented her with a trophy and certificate.

Appeal for help: Givianaa’s plight was highlighted in ‘The Star’ on Nov 15, 2015.Appeal for help: Givianaa’s plight was highlighted in ‘The Star’ on Nov 15, 2015.

(Givianaa, who was born in Ipoh, Perak, moved to India when she was 13.)

Despite being a merit student, she was not accepted into any public universities in India because she was not an Indian citizen.Neither could she gain admission into Malaysian public universities because she did not have local qualifications.

When she came back to Malaysia after her exams, Givianaa worked as a telemarketer and promoter, among other jobs.

“I did feel hopeless and directionless,” she said, adding that she was determined to become doctor but slowly gave up because funding was an issue.

She approached many people for help, but nothing materialised until her plight was reported in The Star in November 2015.

Not long after the article came out, she received a call informing her that someone was willing to sponsor her studies at AIMST University in Kedah.

Givianaa said her sponsor, who wanted to remain anonymous, had helped many others with their academic pursuits.

“He is kind and makes sure you don’t slack off. He always gives positive reinforcement,” she added.Although the intake of her first semester was in September 2015, she started in November.

She also had to cope with the loss of her mother two months earlier.“I was two and a half months behind the syllabus. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to catch up,” said Givianaa, who graduated in February this year.

“We must have the confidence to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

She also voiced her gratitude to her sponsor, as well as The Star for highlighting her situation and the people who had believed in her.

“As a result of all this support, I am a doctor now. This is all I have ever dreamt of since I was a child,” she added.

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