Indian jackpot winner plans to open college in Bahrain


Dubai : 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.

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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 MyHassad 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 reported.

"I applied to Bahrain's Education Ministry last month for a licence to start a university college in Bahrain," he said.

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 the Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU), Alagappa University and Madurai Kamaraj University of India.

"My application was accepted but I gave up my hope when the ministry, according to its rules, asked me to deposit BHD 100,000 as a guarantee. I had no idea how to raise such a big amount. But I prayed to God to show me a way.

"I thanked God when Ahli United Bank broke the news to me last week, giving me a pleasant surprise."

The 37-year-old said he would invest a good part of the prize money in developing education in India as well.

"I hope to start an Indian university college in Bahrain, offering courses in business, commerce, computer science and similar subjects.

"I shall also contribute towards the development of education in my native place in Pondicherry, India, by opening a college there. I hope to invest in these projects by taking loans from the bank against the prize money."

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