Haresh Selvaskandan carries Olympic torch in London

 Courtesy of the Sunday Island, 2012

Haresh Selvaskandan (22), a Sri Lankan medical student in  Britain, was selected as a torch bearers for the final lap of the 2012 Olympic  Torch. Born in Hong Kong, he moved to Sri Lanka at the age of four and  attended British School Colombo and the Colombo International School (CIS). “It was at CIS that I became the person I am today, thanks to a  combination of a “great group of friends and an amazing set of inspiring  teachers”, he smiled. In 2006, Selvaskandan, attended the Future World Leaders Summit  at Georgetown University in Washington DC as a member of the Sri Lankan  delegation. His fellow delegates at this summit from CIS were, Thushya Shah,  Sohanya Wickremaratne, Nikhil Amalean, Abdul Kareem, Nuzhath Kareem, Shanil  Nethicumara, Meliza Cyril, Menuwan Weerasinghe, Thamalee Palansuriya, Abishek  Devraj, Darron Henricus, Charya De Silva, Imran Jeevunjee, Thiyagi  Ruwanpathirana, Thehinde Fonseka and Hassan Manikku.

The Olympic Torch is perhaps the most famous herald of the  Olympic Games. It is ignited at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia,  Greece several months before the opening ceremony. This year the Olympic Flame arrived in Britain on May 18, and 8,000 inspirational individuals were selected  to carry it through over 1000 cities, towns and villages in the lead-up to the  London Olympics which began on July 27.

“These Leadership Summits are designed for promising teenagers  to explore and challenge their leadership ability, build self confidence and  interactive skills at a very early age to achieve Leadership Excellence in  Society”, said Ananda Rajapakse, Sri Lanka Country Director for Presidential  Classroom the local representative for Student Leadership Summits at Harvard,  Yale, Chicago and Georgetown Universities in USA. In 2013, Sri Lankan students will have the option of three  different Leadership Summits. For ages 17 to 19 Leadership in Action Summit at  Harvard & Yale Universities or Business & Entrepreneurship Summit at Chicago  University. For ages 15-17 World Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. For details  of 2013 Leadership Summits in USA, email futureworldleader@eureka.lk

Selvaskandan joined Leicester Medical School in 2007 immediately  after the Future World Leaders Summit. He discovered Medsin, a national  organization of students affiliated to the UN dedicated to tackling inequalities  in global health distribution. He now works as a regional coordinator for Medsin and keeps his  scientific interests alive through work on various projects with clinicians. “My  ultimate goal is to go into academic nephrology and play a key role in  International Development, starting in Sri Lanka,” he says.

For Selvaskandan, the best thing about carrying the Olympic  Torch was having his parents and friends there to support him. Perhaps, this is a reflection of the life and attitudes of a  young man who went into medicine with the aim of helping others and was chosen  to be part of the select group carrying the Olympic Torch thanks to his  humanitarian work in the field of medicine.


Filed under life stories, sri lankan society, unusual people, world affairs

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