Dubai: Suchetha Satish, a 15-year-old Indian student in Dubai, represents hundreds of students who have won the prestigious
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance since 1998.
When she bagged the award six years ago, she was in Grade 4. Sucehta received the recognition from Sheikh Hamdan himself.
Now readying for her Grade 10 exams, Suchetha told Gulf News: “I was fortunate to collect an award from Sheikh Hamdan when I was very young. Will cherish that moment forever.”
Calling it a blessed opportunity, she said: “Though I was very young, I remember him patting me on my shoulder and congratulating me when he handed the award over to me. It will definitely forever be one of the most cherished moments in my life.”
“It is an irreparable loss for the whole country and Dubai in particular. We all pray for the departed to rest in peace. I am sure everyone who has won the award echoes the same,” said the Indian High School student.
Suchetha had won the award for the distinguished student for overall academic performances including curricular and co-curricular activities done over the past three years.
“The award has actually inspired me to do better in life,” said the teen, who has continued to score high in curricular and co-curricular activities in higher classes.
A double world record holder for singing in most number of languages (102) during one concert and longest live singing concert by a child, Suchetha presently sings in 130 languages.
Though she has met several celebrities during her journey as a singer, meeting Sheikh Hamdan and getting his encouragement will always have a special place in the hearts of her entire family, said her father Dr. T.C. Satish.
“It was the first time Suchetha’s mother Sumita and I also saw someone from the ruling family even though from a distance. We have never got such an opportunity later. We were so proud to see our daughter receiving the award from Sheikh Hamdan himself. He was very affectionate and supportive. We will always treasure the photo of her with Sheikh Hamdan,” he said.
The award was instituted with the aim of supporting quality pathways in the educational sector and encouraging excellence and talent programmes by nurturing talented and innovative people, and supporting and investing in their talents.
It honours excellence in students, teachers, schools, researchers and educational projects in national, GCC and international levels.
“With its continuation and the expansion of its services and its regional and international partnerships, especially with international organisations such as UNESCO, ISESCO, ALEXO, FabLab, the World Council for the Gifted and the International Society for Research on Giftedness and Excellence, the Award was restructured, by a government decree issued in 2018, to become the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance,” according to the website of the award.