Mangalore: SMKC Dubai promotes higher education through financial support
Fr Francis Rodrigues, Raknno
Mangalore, Jul 10: St Mary's Konkan Community (SMKC), Dubai added another Rs 5 lac to the SMKC Education Trust Fund that was established in the diocese of Mangalore towards the promotion of higher education of poor students of Christian community. A cheque of Rs 5 lac was handed over to Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, the bishop of Mangalore on Monday July 8 at the Bishop’s House in Mangalore by Noel Mascarenhas, founder president and Joe Fernandes, the founder advisor of SMKC.
“One of the key objectives of the St Joseph’s Engineering College (SJEC) established by the diocese of Mangalore is to help bright students from poor families. While the richer folk of the society can afford to pay and pursue higher studies, the poor families from rural places are unable to send their children for professional courses because of the expensive nature of these courses. In the initial years SMKC came forward to help some of these poor families to pursue engineering studies by supporting them financially. Because of their help we could give scholarships to some poor students for their engineering studies. They have not only helped Christian students but have also helped students from other communities,” said Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza on the occasion.
“It is very consoling to know that because of the help given by SMKC nearly 20 students have completed their engineering studies and have gone into earning jobs and professions. I appreciate the generosity and goodwill of the founder president Noel Mascarenhas and Jenifer Mascarenhas who had taken initiative for such a help. I appreciate all the supporters and donors who have helped the poor through the SMKC and pray the Almighty Lord to bless them generously,” he added.
SMKC Education Trust Fund was established in 2004 at Bishop's House, Mangalore and has been managed well to cater to many poor families of the coastal region with regard to professional studies.
According to Noel Mascarenhas, the founder president of SMKC, “So far, Rs 1.43 crore has been donated by SMKC for educational and other deserving causes and persons during the span of a decade. Rs 37 lac has been used for helping students in engineering studies, Rs 5.90 lac for nursing studies, Rs 2.5 lac for MBBS studies, Rs 1.5 lac for MBA, and Rs 1 lac for technical and teacher trainings.”
SMKC officials said that as of now 18 engineering students, 38 BSc nursing students, 2 MBBS students, one MBA student, 5 ITI-civil diploma-polytechnics students, and 3 BEd students have completed their respective courses through the financial support of SMKC. Rs 2 lac was granted to each engineering/MBBS student to complete their 4-5 year course, while Rs one lac was given to an MBA student and Rs 20,000 to each UG/technical student. All these students have signed a promissory note to return some amount to the Education Trust Fund to help other deserving students and so far Rs 9 lac has been returned by the beneficiary students who have settled well in jobs. At the moment the SMKC is financially supporting one MBBS and 4 engineering students from economically weak families.
According to Joe Fernandes, the founder adviser, “The SMKC is the first association which started to promote higher education and professional courses with a special focus on the economically weak students. The SMKC not only used the interest of the fund collected but also the corpus itself is being used for the promotion of higher education amidst the poorer class.”
“We are especially thankful to the generous members, benefactors, and donors who have joined hands with us with lot of confidence in our association - present president of SMKC Veronica Rego, vice-president Paul Culaso and others who have helped us to promote good causes through SMKC. This year SMKC Dubai was able to generate funds for Education Trust Fund through SMKC ‘Surf and Care’ campaign. Our sponsors have been very understating and supportive for this novel idea. We have also helped in a number of deserving medical cases, enabling families meet major and expensive sicknesses. The SMKC has also helped infrastructural, linguistic, cultural and social causes. We have invited a number of star Konkani artistes to the Gulf and appreciated and enjoyed their music and cultural performances,” said Noel Mascarenhas.
“We desire and request the Christian community that we need to focus on the Indian administrative services like IAS, IPS and through such services we need to become the mouthpieces of minorities at the national and state administration. Our voices need to be heard in the government offices,” he opined.
Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza, the founder spiritual adviser of SMKC, Fr John Vas, the procurator of the diocese of Mangalore and others were present on the occasion.