SINGAPORE - As a secondary school teacher in 1961, Dr V. P. Nair noticed that his students from low-income families were unable to afford canteen food and often watched with envy as their schoolmates ate during recess.
This memory stuck with the former chemistry, biology and physics teacher at Tanjong Katong Secondary School over the decades, even after he became an interventional cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital Orchard and Novena.
The veteran heart doctor cited this as the reason he decided to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) through sales of his debut autobiography.
"(As a teacher), I remember feeling very sorry for the students who could not afford food," he said.
When Covid-19 struck and many lost their jobs, the welfare of less well-to-do students here reignited in his mind, the 81-year-old, who today owns Nair Cardiac & Medical Centre in Orchard Road, told The Straits Times.
Titled Healing Hearts, Touching Minds. The Journey of An Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Nair's autobiography was launched at the Singapore Recreation Club on Friday (Jan 15).
The book discusses Dr Nair's early life, training in cardiology and research in cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease.
Besides his storied career in medicine - he has been practising at Mouth Elizabeth since 1983 - Dr Nair has also contributed to the community, such as having served as charter president of the Rotary Club of Serangoon Gardens Orchard.
Gracing the book's launch were Minister in Prime Minister's office, Second Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng, and Sembawang GRC MP Vikram Nair.
Guests at the launch received a copy of his autobiography for a minimum donation of $50 to STSPMF. All proceeds from the sale of the autobiography will go to STSPMF.
"Youth are Singapore's future, and I hope this helps propel them further," said Dr Nair.