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Dr Padma Lal: USP's first Gold Medalists shares Her story.

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The Registrar Mr Walter Fraser with USP first graduates and Gold Medalist Dr Padma Lal, Reverend Epeli Joseteki Tagi and Ms Mere Tora.

Forty years ago it was considered unbecoming for a young Gujerati girl of 18 to pursue further education, Dr Padma Narsey Lal proved critics wrong when she surfaced and became the university’s first gold medal recipient of her graduating class and topped her predominately male class as the best graduating science student.
Dr Lal defied all odds and became the first female Gujerati to attend USP and made history graduating in Science and scooping the first USP Gold Medal in 1971.

At the time it was considered unbecoming for a young Gujerati girl of 18 to pursue further education, however Dr Lal proved critics wrong when she surfaced and became the university’s first gold medal recipient of her graduating class and topped her predominately male class as the best graduating science student.
All other feelings of excitement and sheer joy could not compare to the proud smiles on the faces of her parents, as she describes it to be the best of all experiences she’s ever had.

Second generation of Gujerati origin and growing at a time when women’s rights were unheard of, Padma attributes a lot of her success to the unfailing strength of both parents who did not give in easily to the pressures of society that required for young girls that become of age to be married off.
Her tertiary years were not just studies. Dr Lals free spirit saw her defy the norms of her fairly strict, orthodox Gujerati society, to be a member of the student council, fighting for justice.
Dr Lal rates some of the fondest memories she’s had as meeting students from other Pacific Islands and most importantly meeting her life-time partner who is an Academic as well Historian Dr Brij Lal. Growing up in a family of six other siblings, Padma is the younger sister of Academic Professor Warden Narsey.


This news item was published on 11 Apr 2008 12:02:58 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj



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