Loyola Chennai Alumni Foundation was formed on Saturday to provide scholarship for higher education of students from poor and marginalised sections of society.
Bernard D. Sami moved the resolution for setting up the foundation at Loyola World Alumni Congress 2010. It was accepted unanimously. Through the foundation, the Father Casimir Raj Fund for Poor Students will be established with contributions from alumni.
Almost 50 per cent of the students in the college are from economically and socially weaker sections of society. The alumni fund will help educate about 3,000 poor students, said Prof. Sami.
Stating that the setting up of Loyola Alumni Foundation was long overdue, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, promising his contribution for the fund, said all great universities were nurtured by alumni and the culture had come to India with the IITs setting a fine example.
Asserting that education could not become a money-spinning enterprise, he said the Centre had introduced bills in Parliament to regulate it .
Mushrooming of educational institutions could not be prevented as parents were willing to give up material benefits to provide the best education for their children, he said. As the country was a plural society, Mr. Chidambaram urged educational institutions to impart the values of secularism and tolerance that were very important for the country.
Without the service of the Jesuits, India would not be what it is today. Jesuits are rare people who lead a life of chastity, poverty and obedience and devoting life in the service of education, said the Union Home Minister, himself an alumnus of Loyola.
Aspired for excellence
Loyola College had aspired for high standards and excellence from the first day, said N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu. This great endeavour helped the college to be there right at the top of arts and science colleges in the country. Loyola has also been accessible, opening its gates wide to all sections of society, he said.
Union Minister for Textiles Dayanidhi Maran spoke about environment and education. Alumni Association president Shyam Kothari, Fr. Jabamalai and A.K. Viswanathan, IPS, spoke.