Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Alumni shower donations, AMU set to take up new projects

Written by Mohd Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Posted: July 10, 2014 3:54 am

With its fund-raising event clocking an unprecedented and, possibly, the highest-ever amount (over Rs 13 crore) donated by the alumni, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is now ready to fulfil its dream of commissioning new projects and give its campus area an overhaul of sorts.

Among the new facilities to line AMU include a golf course, two sports complexes, stables and revamping of old lecture theaters into smart classrooms.

Among those that it is in the process of finalising – funds for which have already been “confirmed” by the “generous alumni” – include world class museum and a separate auditorium for Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. “For the first time we were able to convince the donors with concrete plans, judicious use of their money and acknowledgment to them (by engraving their names on a stone plaque).” Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah, vice-chancellor  of AMU, said.

“We still have old stone plaques on our buildings highlighting the (names of) donors. We are following the same practice,” he added. About the donors, most of whom are settled abroad, Shah said the maximum amount came from Yusufali M A, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group in UAE. He donated Rs 5 crore for constructing a sports complex for boys. After visiting the campus, he agreed over another donation of Rs 5 crore for the construction of another sports complex – this time for girls.

The famed alumnus was conferred honorary doctorate at the university’s convention in March this year. Next in the list of AMU’s “generous donors” is Musa Dakri with his 50,000 US dollars. Dakri is a Gujarati businessman settled in US and his donation to help set up a world class museum will find his name forever imprinted in AMU’s corridor as the V-C has decided to name the museum after Dakri family.

Other contributors include Aligarh Medical Association of North America —60,000 US dollars for construction of an auditorium in JNMC; Maharashtra-based Allana Group of Companies — Rs 1 crore for renovating Strachey Hall, one of the first buildings to come up at the campus.

Small contributors from UAE, Saudi Arabia and USA, too, donated Rs 1.40 crore to convert old lecture theaters into smart class rooms with provision for online tutorials, writing monitors, projectors, new furniture etc.  The fund-raising event also had its “emotional moments”. “One person donated her earrings that were auctioned for Rs 11 lakh. The bidder then returned the earrings which will be kept in the museum,” the V-C said.

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