When he was 13, Nehsan Selvaraj met an accident on his way back from school. The motorcycle he was on crashed into a lorry, leaving the teenager with horrific injuries.
His face crushed, Nehsan was unable to talk - or even eat properly - for six months.
"I still have metal in my face today. You can feel it if you touch my face," Nehsan recalls.
But Nehsan credits that accident for changing his life and putting him on the path to stardom. In the seven years since the crash, the youngster has taken part in the Superstar singing contest and became a newscaster for Bernama, the national news service. Not bad for somebody who's just turned 20!
Earlier this week, Nehsan was honoured by the government of India for his humanitarian work and efforts in promoting international cooperation. Nehsan was invited to New Delhi to accept the ‘Award of Honour – International Digital Leader’ from India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at the Vision For Future 2019 Summit. The award was presented to Nehsan by minister of social justice and empowerment, Ramdas Athawle.
"The accident that I met when I was 13 made me overcome my fear of talking. It inspired me to harness my gift of speech to do greater things in life," he says.
Upon recovering, he took part in Astro’s Neengalum Nirubaragalam and attended multiple international debates in different countries, which kickstarted his international cooperation initiatives.
During his trips, he met with ministers and world leaders like Russian president Vladimir Putin, with whom he established a diplomatic connection as a representative of Malaysia. With time, all his foreign endeavours led him to working with BRICS (the association of emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), to overcome global issues by crafting and implementing innovative strategies and initiatives.
His work with BRICS was also the basis for the recognition he earned in New Delhi this week - the award was conferred by the BRICS International Forum and the International Federation of Indo-Russian Youth Club in appreciation of his immense contribution to BRICS.
Nehsan's interesting life journey has already seen him serve as an International Expert Election Observer in countries like Russia, India, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka.
He is also the founder and Group President of Yayasan Aspirasi Rakyat Amalan Malaysia (ARAM), with whom he has conducted many humanitarian projects.
How is somebody so young able to achieve so much? Where does he get his inspiration from?
"It’s a fire, a passion. Nobody believes I’m 20. I read books, analyse political ideologies and study strategies," he says.
So, does he see a future in politics for himself at some point?
Nehsan says the prospect intrigues him.
"I prefer being a political secretary or an ambassador for Malaysia,"he admits.
However, his real passion for now is in helping reform criminals and working with marginalised communities.
"I would like to help create opportunities for ex-convicts by teaching them the technical and soft skills they need to start a business," he says.
Here’s what this young dynamo has to say about the award he received:
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