Several institutions have eminent alumni, but when it comes to paying back, IIT Bombay stands tall. Over the last 15 years, IIT Bombay alumni from across the world have contributed an estimated Rs. 200 crores for their alma mater and continue to do so in a number of engaging and innovative ways.
The newest addition in the fundraising initiative is the Decennial Celebrations Fund to be launched by the IITB Bombay Alumni Association on 20th August when they flag off their tenth anniversary celebrations.
Till recently bulk of the donations were raised in the US where close to 90% of funds contributed were by large donors (US$ >100k) with some 25 donors who have donated in excess of US$ 100,000. The lead in Indian Gurudakshina was taken by Nandan Nilekani believed to be the single largest donor to IIT Bombay Others from India have followed suit and in recent years there has been an upsurge of donations from Alumni in India.
The Decennial Celebrations Fund is aimed at encouraging smaller donations from alumni across the world. It works on the premise that if 50% of IIT Bombay’s 40,000 string alumni choose to donate a mere Rs.10,000 to their alma mater, IIT Bombay would have access to an additional Rs 20 crores at their disposal.
To facilitate the process on 20th August IITB will also unveil a new online donations portal to help alumni donate to their designated cause. The portal will not only facilitate online donations but maintain donor history, track payments and enable donors to receive periodic fund utilization reports at regular intervals. Designed by Findability Sciences who helped create and run a similar platform for United Ways a US based charity, this is the first such initiative by them for an educational institution in India.
Prof A Q Contractor, Dean Alumni and Corporate Relations commends alumni support to IIT Bombay in the following words,- “We are indeed fortunate to have alumni who have not only been generous with funds but also with their time. The innovative approaches to fund-raising, organization and mobilization could only have come from IITians. I would also like to point out that several of our alumni have spent time participating in our academic and research programs, bringing valuable international experience to these programs.’
Chairman of IITBAA’s Board of Directors Shridhar Shukla points out that “Alumni groups have come up with some novel projects which focus on the IIT Bombay community like the providing health insurance to retired faculty, giving joining bonus to young faculty, supporting mess-workers, loans and grants to students from underprivileged backgrounds etc., These projects have brought in a large number of alumni volunteers as well as alumni donations”
Ram Kelkar President of IIT Bombay Heritage Fund comments that “1200 alumni in the US have donated over US $35 Million in GuruDakshina (this includes about $25 Million in cash and the balance in equipment donations) over the years. Not only that; as much as 20 % are repeat donors. I am happy to see Indian alumni coming forward and with new fund raising schemes like Give One and now the Decennial Celebrations Fund people have an option of contributing smaller amounts over many years and oversee the end usage of their funds”
Amongst the major donors, alumni flying in from USA for the Decennial Celebrations Event on August 20th are Raj Mashruwala, one of the founders of IIT Bombay Heritage Fund in USA. Mashruwala is the largest single US donor with close to US$ 3.5 million worth of donations. Also gracing the event is Chairman of Syntel Inc. Bharat Desai who will inaugurate a plush 1500 capacity indoor stadium made possible by donation from him and his wife Neerja Sethi.
Some Interesting Facts on Alumni Donation History from IIT Bombay
The Annual donation to IIT Bombay is now in the vicinity of Rs. 15 crores and the number of donors are close to a thousand.
Over 40% of the funds donated have gone to infrastructural projects which include Kanwal Rekhi School of IT, Shailesh Mehta School of Management, Gaitonde Lecture Hall Complex, D S Foundation Gymkhana, Victor Menezes Convention Center, Shenoy Innovation Studio, Suman Mashruwalla Advanced Micro Microengineering Lab, PC Saxena Auditorium, Lecture Hall Complex, Hostel Renovation, Broadband connectivity to hostel etc
Alumni donations also support over 100 named scholarships, 7 Research Excellence awards, 14 Teaching Excellence Awards, 5 Student Merit Excellence Awards and 7 Chair Professorships supported by alumni donations.
There are interesting and innovative projects supported by alumni. The Young Faculty Awards programme has provided joining bonuses to 86 new faculty in the last three years.
269 donors world-wide have donated Rs 1.15 crores for Hostel Alumni Team Stewardship Programme which (apart from hostel improvements) are being deployed to support 200 mess workers who have either retired or spent more than 25 years in service.
Financial Aid Programme has assisted close to 500 needy students with a total disbursal of over Rs 1.7 crores over the last three years.
- 217 lives including retired faculty, their spouses as well as spouses of deceased faculties who retired prior to 2003 are provided with supplementary health insurance under Retired Faculty Wellness Fund.
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