Youngster fights for minorities

Local | Arika Ho 19 May 2016

A 16-year-old boy is determined to fight for the rights of minorities, especially in accessing education and health care.

"Not all Indians or Pakistanis are as lucky as I am," says Pradyumn Dayal, a Hong Kong-born Indian. "They cannot enjoy fair opportunity of education and health care."

Dayal, who spent his junior years here, said he was inspired by a medical camp he joined four years ago and the experience of teaching public speaking.

He has set up a human rights campaign called Move4Migrants.

Dayal first joined the medical camp organized by the South Asian Health Support Program of the United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service in 2012, where he helped check blood pressure and cholesterol levels of minorities.

At the camp, he met his mentor, Dr Sharmiula Gurung, who guided him in setting up the campaign and now acts as an advisory board member.

"Some young girls going through puberty cannot get the right medical attention as their culture does not permit them to see a male doctor. That's something the public hospitals in Hong Kong do not provide for," Dayal said.

He continued volunteering in the medical camps for three more years until he left for the United States to continue secondary school.

The health service gave him a Youth Global Leader award in 2014.

Dayal was also a finalist at the HKFYG Standard Chartered Hong Kong English Public Speaking Contest in 2013.

Afterward, he was invited to teach public speaking in English at local schools. Dayal said some minority children were also potential speakers, but had no chance to unleash their talent.

Some were isolated from mainstream students owing to segregated schools for minorities and, over the years, either dropped out of high school or could not attend university due to the Chinese language requirement.

He established the Move4Migrants campaign last year. To raise funds to help the worse-off members of minorities lacking educational aids, health care and socialization, the group will hold a walkathon next month, as well as a sports tournament.

"Walk4Migrants will be our debut event. I hope the general public here can be more aware about minority migrants," he said.

Squash4Migrants will be co-organized with Faiyaz, a former Pakistani coach of the Hong Kong squash team, in August.

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