Chairman’s Speech

Deputy High Commissioner, Fellow alumni and close friends.

Asalam alaikum

On behalf of the Trustees I welcome you for tonight’s event. It is has been sometime since we met so we are thankful for your participation. The response was very good as nearly 20 other alumni had to decline due to being away or unwell.

During this long break we have lost many members including former Presidents of the Society, Trustees and well known and distinguished alumni. May I request that we take a short break and recite a short prayer…….

Thank you.

The reason the Trustees were keen that we meet with the Alumni is that the Trust has reached a cross road. As you all know when the Society under Zia Khaleeli set up the Trust one of our principal aims was to keep a link with Oxbridge. This has been done on a regular basis with the Trust donating a small annual amount to those scholars who had gained entry. The Trust worked with the Noon Trust and have sent 16 Scholars since 2001. This year acting as facilitators we sent via Lucky Cement Ltd and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust 2 more scholars making a total of 18 scholars. This Joint venture was also set up by Zia Khaleeli.

The Trust also worked with local universities including IBA ,IVS, but mainly with NED. This year we have continued with NED. Next year the final batch of 19 scholars will enter their last year.

The reason I used the words, “The Trust has reached a cross roads”, was that our fund raising has come to a stop. The Society has not been able to hold a fund raising event and as a consequence and with the past commitments we are left with just below Rs 20,000,000 of total funds. With the exchange rate devaluation for us to contribute to an annual cost at Oxbridge of GBP 40000 even, with 10% or GBP 4000 is difficult. Therefore the Trustees feel till fresh funds are raised we should stop the Oxbridge scholarships . We however shall canvass with the corporate sector and try and replicate the Lucky Cambridge Trust Scholarship, to keep our commitment to an Oxbridge link.

One of the areas we are looking at diversifying into is primary education. In this regard we are in dialogue with TCF. However here again we would welcome the opinion of our Society members if they are happy for us to take this matter farther.

In this regard I think it is time to reignite the Society or ask the Trust to perform those functions. It is a matter for you the Alumni to come forward and decide. From the Trust side we are open at anytime to take the advice and proposals of the Alumni. It is you who created the Trust and we work therefore for you. We welcome any and all interaction. Therefore we would like to hear your comments In conclusion may I thank the Deputy High commissioner for agreeing to use his residence. It is a tradition of more than two decades that we meet at Runnymede. We are greatly appreciative.

I would also like to thank Mohammad Rajpar out trustee for being the main sponsor for tonight’s event.