Mr Chandrasegaran s/o Govindaraju, a Laboratory Technologist at the Faculty of Engineering’s division of Environmental Science and Engineering, helps students fabricate and refine designs for water treatment projects. But he has done much more than that.
For 31 years – since he joined the Faculty at the then University of Singapore in 1978 – he has been their loyal friend, adviser and supporter, all rolled into one.
“I have known of both local and foreign students who faced great financial difficulty,” he said, adding: “I noticed that some of them would skip lunch and just drink water. So I took to them to the canteen and bought them lunch.”
Over the years, he helped some students financially in his personal capacity.
“That was before our University began the Annual Giving programme to support student financial aid,” said Mr Chandrasegaran, who has supported Annual Giving’s Staff Giving with a recurring gift since March 2007. “I really believe in Staff Giving and strongly urge all my colleagues at NUS to support Staff Giving too. It doesn’t have to be much. You can plan your giving with a recurring gift, and it’s really easy to give through staff payroll deduction. The best thing is, you won’t feel the pinch because it’s all so automatic!’’ he says with a big smile.
The father of two grown children says he faced financial hardship when he himself was a student, and as a result could not go beyond the ‘O’ Levels. Happily, he went on to find a long and fulfilling career at NUS, where he maintains strong ties.
He says: “All my life I’ve worked here. It’s very nice to see new faces every year and it energises me to be around young people. The first batch of students I know is now about 50 years old. Some of them are managing directors, and they make me feel very proud. I bump into them at weddings and seminars and some of them still call me for advice sometimes.”
“Some people say, why should I give? For me, it’s a matter of helping somebody. At the end of the day, I have a good feeling that I have helped students with talent and ability to complete their education,” Mr Chandra says.
“You can help people by giving them money, but money can run out. When you give them an education, it stays with them forever and gives them a future.”
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