Posthumous Master’s degree to Indian student

Venkat Raman

The Waikato University awarded a postgraduate degree (Masters) in Business Management to a young student who last week under tragic circumstances in Tauranga.

At a formal ceremony held at the University campus in Hamilton on Friday, April 27, 2018, Kishore Kumar Aravindan was posthumously honoured with the qualification for which he had arrived from India in November last year.

The 27-year-old student was swept away by rising waters along with his classmate and another friend, while posing for photographs. The young woman managed to survive. She was treated at the Waikato Hospital and later discharged.

Tourist Attraction

Their friend Ashwin Balasubramaniam, who was taking photographs of the pair from a distance, told Indian Newslink that it was his worst nightmare.

“Three of us are in the same class at the University of Waikato, pursuing our postgraduate (Masters) courses in Business and Management. We arrived only in November 2017 and became good friends. We had heard of the Omanawa Falls in Tauranga and its sylvan surroundings and decided to visit yesterday,” he said.

Tragedy unfolds

Ashwin said that they reached the top of the falls by 230 pm and having taken a few pictures, decided to go down to the Falls, where the unfortunate incident occurred.

“There was a sudden gush of water; Kishore and the other friend were swept away. The Police and a Rescue helicopter arrived at the scene about 45 minutes later. The other person was rescued but Kishore could not be found despite intense search. His body was found in a 17-meter pit the next day,” he said.

His uncle Sanjay Viswanathan arrived from Chennai on April 25 to attend to the formalities relating to the release of the body of young Kishore, including consular matters.

Gratitude expressed

Mr Sanjay told this reporter that the understanding, goodwill and support extended by the officials of the Indian High Commission in Wellington in concluding the procedures speedily were remarkable.

“It is unfortunate that my visit to this beautiful country has not been pleasant. But I am grateful to the officials of the Waikato University for the posthumous Master’s degree conferred on Kishore. My nephew achieved his objective of obtaining such a good qualification, although not during his lifetime. I am also thankful to all his friends, officials and members of the Tamil community in Hamilton and New Zealand and to Indian Newslink for their timely and ready support. I hope to come to New Zealand again to see places of interest and meet people who have become my friends during this unfortunate trip,” he said.

Mr Sanjay has since returned to Chennai by Emirates in the same aircraft which carried the coffin of Kishore.

Kishore Kumar Aravindan (Picture supplied)

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