Muscat: Having provided scholarships to 16 underprivileged students in 2018, Indian School Muscat’s Alumni Association (ISMA) now wants to reach out to more children in need this year.
As part of their commitment to giving back to Indian School Muscat, ISMA donated OMR2,500 to pay for one academic term for the 16 students, all of whom came from financially deprived backgrounds.
The children belonged to families with monthly salaries of less than OMR300. Six of the students were from single-parent families, while three students’ parents had no source of income, either due to economic constraints, loss of employment, the loss of a parent, or other personal problems.
ISMA’s charitable activities for 2019 include a charity cricket match scheduled to take place on Friday, 5 April 2019, from 2-11pm at the Oman Cricket Association’s grounds in Al Amerat.
“Last year, our scholarships went to two underprivileged children from each of the grades between classes V and XII ” said Mukund Manohar, President, ISM Alumni Association (ISMA). “We gave priority to children of single parents, particularly single mothers, because they often cannot afford the financial responsibility of education, which is something no family should go through.”
“We also considered children whose fathers have very menial jobs and who may not always have the financial means to provide for a child’s education,” he added. “ In total, we gave one term’s tuition, about OMR 2,500, to these 16 children. This money was directly credited to the school’s fee account, so that the parents don’t have to pay the fees themselves.
“We were strict when it came to certain criteria for selecting eligible students,” explained Manohar. “For example, only students who had received aggregate marks of above 70% were eligible for this. Going forward, we want to be able to help more students, and with this year’s funds, we want to help at least two students all the way from kindergarten to grade XII.”
Fifty-six former students of Indian School Muscat have come forward to play in this game and, at an Indian Premier League-style auction on Wednesday evening, were drawn into four teams. However, the level of interest from both alumni and non-alumni points the way for even greater participation next time around.
“We have a rule in place to ensure minimum field time for all players, so everyone plays,” said Manohar. “This is our humble start in giving back to the school community and to those truly deserving of this. This scholarship will be a continuous initiative and we hope this helps get the word out to all our alumni worldwide. Our goal is to raise scholarship funds through various events like our cricket tournament and also through our Kindle Initiative which provides a platform for Alumni and well-wishers to contribute directly to this fund”
Suketu Limbani, himself an ISM alumnus and captain of one of the teams, said it was the responsibility of people to give back to their alma mater, should they have the means to do so.
“All of us here are humbled to be part of this. We have a responsibility to give back to our school, because it made us what we are today” he told Times of Oman.
“We are now in a position where we are able to give back, and it is not fair that a child should be denied his education because of financial constraints. I think it is very important for everyone to do what they can, however they can. That’s why we have these events. If you cannot give money, then you can give your time, you can help organise things, there are many things you can do to help out.”
Limbani added, “Yes, we are all working professionals, but for the next few weeks, after we finish work, we will meet together to train and to practice, because we have to take this seriously. It will mean a lot commitment from our side, but I think all of us are prepared to do this because it is for a good cause.”