Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indian jackpot winner plans to open a college in Bahrain

An Indian teacher in Bahrain who won a jackpot wants to open a college in the country rather than spend the money on exotic holidays and shopping.

Elamurugu Soupramanien won the Ahli United Bank's 500,000 Bahraini Dinar ($1,329,783) grand prize last week. He will receive BHD 2,000 ($5319) every month for the next 20 years, courtesy the bank's My Hassad savings scheme.

The father of two believes the prize came as an answer to his prayers after his dream to open a college seemed to be collapsing, the Gulf Daily News has reported.

Soupramanien had applied to Bahrain's Education Ministry last month for a licence to start a university college in Bahrain. His application was accepted but he gave up hope when the Ministry, according to its rules, asked him to deposit BHD 100,000 as a guarantee.

Soupramanien had no idea how to raise such a big amount. He says he “prayed to God to show me a way."

When Ahli United Bank broke the news to him last week of his jackpot win – his prayers were answered.

Soupramanien set up the Indian Academy in 2005 jointly with his wife Gunavathy, who is an engineer. The institute offers private coaching to secondary school students and also runs distance education courses affiliated to three Indian Universities.

Soupramanien first arrived in Bahrain in 1995 to work as a French teacher with the Asian School.