The Aligarh Muslim University, during its Founder’s Day celebrations, received donations of over Rs 70 lakh from its alumni who had gathered for the World Alumni Meet at the University’s campus this Sunday. Afshan Hashim, an alumni based in United States (and participating through video conference), put her wedding jewellery on auction, with a base price of Rs 6.5 lakh. When Mumbai-based real estate businessman Raees Ahmed, also an alumnus, set off the bidding with Rs 11 lakh, others joined in with their contributions of Rs 1,000 and more.
“The final amount ended up being over Rs 70 lakh. This will be handed over to the University,” Suhail Sabir, Chairman, AMU Alumni Affairs Committee, which had organised the programme, said. Sabir added that the jewellery, too, was donated to the University where it will be put on display at its museum.
“The amount is immaterial for me as it has more emotional quotient. I studied at AMU and I did it for my institution. I will always try to help in whatever little manner I am capable,” Ahmed told The Indian Express. He had donated Rs 5 lakh last year when he purchased a set of bangles donated by a Dubai-based woman priced at Rs 1.50 lakh. The bangles, too, were given to the University.
A donation of $ 1,000 came from Brigadier (retd) Mohammad Shafi of Pakistan who, too, attended the function. Shafi, 88, is a recipient of Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest honour given to a civilian in the neighbouring country.
The University had celebrated its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s 198th birth anniversary Sunday, which was attended by nearly 600 alumni from across the globe.
The donation process was carried out at the behest of AMU Vice-Chancellor Lt General (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah. The process has until now succeeded in accumulating a corpus fund of Rs 2.50 crore.
On the occasion Sunday, the foundation stone for a boys’ hostel — named Riyadh Hall and having a capacity of accommodating 1,000 — was also laid with the donation coming from the alumni based in Saudi Arabia.