People’s smiles are a form of praise for the work we do: Kumar


Providing villages with tap water for the first time gives my team and me immense satisfaction, says The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) alumnus, Sheshant Kumar.

Mr Kumar is the Project Manager Construction at the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF), where he has made a difference in people’s lives by overseeing rural water supply projects that provide tap water.

He earned a Bachelor of Engineering Technology from USP, with majors in Mechanical and Manufacturing. In 2013, he began working for the WAF as an Assistant Plant Operator while still studying. He presently leads rural and urban water projects in the Western Division after more than eight years of substantial development and working in remote geographic places.

Mr Kumar said their office received requests from village water committees for Rural Water Projects. So far, he has completed more than 20 projects from 2016 in the Western Division and two in the Central Division.

Some of his notable projects include Khattar Singh (Tacirua), Lakena Hill (Nausori), Nawamagi – Narata (Sigatoka), Nalovo #3 (Nadi), Arolevu (Nadi), Vio Island (Lautoka), Natawarau (Ba), Rara, Drala, Taunovo, Nanuku, and Nalotawa Villages.

According to Mr Kumar, “most villages that do not have a proper water system have to walk long distances to get water for daily needs”.

“Even in nearby schools, there is usually a need for a water supply for the school to function properly. Education is critical, and to make a difference, we must carry out this project so that children have access to clean tap water,” he added.

Mr Kumar said it gives him and his team immense satisfaction and joy when a particular village receives tap water for the first time.

“People’s smiles are a form of praise for the work we do,” he said.

Mr Kumar emphasised that USP had shaped him by instilling good work ethics and a commitment to work hard.

“From extensive yet collaborative and practical lab sessions to one-on-one tutorial sessions of the highest technical aura kept me ticking all those years of service within the Authority. Overall, it’s been a wild ride, but it’s been a memorable one,” he said.

Mr Kumar said he has many personal highlights and achievements during his time at USP, both individually and collectively.

He aspires to continue learning and growing to improve as a worker and a person.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the aviation system, either as a pilot or an engineer,” Mr Kumar said.

“However, owing to financial constraints, I had to change my plans, and I’ll continue to learn new theories and programmes to master as much as I can in the academic sector.”

To be successful, he continued, you must be willing to make the same sacrifices that one parent makes to meet their children’s needs and desires.

“In life, nothing is impossible, but wonderful things come to those who work hard every day. Extreme hard effort and sacrifice are the only ways to succeed,” Mr Kumar added.

He went on to say that despite facing several problems in his life that affected him hysically, mentally, socially and psychologically, he persevered.

“This has been lingering and difficult for me since I was a child, but I’ve learned to listen to what I generally believe in myself. My mental toughness has grown over the years, and it has aided me in overcoming numerous emotionally and financially draining situations.”

Mr Kumar said, “After making a decision, one should not discuss its implications, instead work on it to get the maximum out of your decision and prove the odds wrong. Failure makes you stronger so trust the process”.

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