The Joy of Giving! CASK Distributes Scholarships Worth Rs 16 Lakhs to 154 Beneficiaries

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The Joy of Giving! CASK Distributes Scholarships Worth Rs 16,09,000 Lakhs to 154 Beneficiaries/Students from Mangaluru, Udupi and Chikmagalur dioceses, which included 60 school students, 39-degree students, 30 PUC students; 6 Engineering Students; 5 nursing, and 14 students, among others from other professional degrees, IRRESPECTIVE OF CASTE or CREED, during a programme held at Bishop’s House Hall on Saturday, 8 July 2023 at 10 am

Mangaluru: Quoting Saint Mother Teresa- “If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in”. I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. A life not lived for others is not a life. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

The above thought-provoking quote by Saint Mother Teresa aptly suits the voluntary and community service rendered by the members of the Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK), who have been doing yeomen service in helping the needy and less-fortunate for decades- and their service with love and care towards the poor and downtrodden continues as of today, even after 109 years of their existence. Apart from their love towards the poor in their various capacities, CASK has even contributed towards the education of deserving students through scholarships, which was done today yet another kind gesture from their side towards 154 students who are either pursuing their education in Nursing, Engineering, B Ed, 0r schooling or college graduation and also studies in primary school, irrespective of caste or creed, offering them scholarship cheques, ranging in the amount from Rs 5000 upto Rs 40,000 depending on their family status.

Before going further into today’s programme, let us appreciate the tremendous community service done by CASK in the last 109 years, in a summary- The Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) established in the year 1914 has done yeomen service in the field of Education and Health Care, in erstwhile South Kanara (DK & Udupi districts). CASK has been implementing many impactful charitable and community service projects, particularly in the last decade. The Major projects include a Personality Development Program for students (more than 5,450 students benefited); a Teacher Enrichment Programme (more than 845 teachers benefited); Footwear for barefoot students (more than 5,000 pairs given); Installation of safe drinking water units (13 units installed in rural schools & Institutes); Home for the Homeless (5 homes sponsored); promotion of blood, organs & body cadaveric donations and Annual Scholarships.

CASK provides Scholarships under three categories (1) from Endowment Funds; (2) from ‘Covid Support’ funds to marginalized families affected by covid deaths of one or both parents; (3) Regular Annual Scholarships; The main criteria for granting scholarships in NOT ‘merit or marks’ but the low financial status and problems faced in terms of family issues (Father/Mother deceased, Single parent, daily wage earner, domestic workers, parent suffering from major diseases). The beneficiaries are selected irrespective of Caste, Creed or Religion.

CASK also operates and manages the following Endowments for granting Annual Scholarships from the interest accrued, as desired by the donors of the Fund: 1)Franklin Mathias Endowment Fund; 2) Judith Brown Endowment 3) Cuthbert & Juliet Pinto Endowment; 4) Marigold Endowment; 5) Ladislaus B.Aranha Endowment; 6) Joe Pereira Scholarship Fund; 7) Olivia Pereira Scholarship Fund; and 8) Late Jerome & Ms Iris Pinto Endowment, among others. Apart from these, CASK has been giving scholarships to deserving students for years.

Today’s scholarship programme began with invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song by Ms Gulobi Fernandes-an active member of CASK, followed by a welcome address by Capt Vincent Pais-President, CASK. Briefing of the Annual Scholarships was done by Ullas Rasquinha, a CASK council member. Then followed the distribution of scholarships to students pursuing studies in various academics from school, college to postgraduate. The dignitaries on the dais were -Mnsgr Maxim Noronha-Vicar General, Mangaluru diocese (in the absence of Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha who had another engagement); guest of honour Dr Thelma Sequeira, a renowned doctor and patron of CASK, and Capt Vincent Pais-President of CASK.

On behalf of CASK Patron Rt. Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Vicar General of Mangalore Diocese – Monsignor Maxim Noronha, distributed the Scholarships, at the Bishop’s House Hall, in the presence of the Major donors, Members and well-wishers of CASK, on Saturday 8th July 2023. This year, out of 250 applications, CASK granted scholarships to 154 students, with a total outlay of Rs.16,09,000/-. Following the distribution of Scholarships to the beneficiaries, the special guest for the occasion, Dr Thelma Sequiera addressing the gathering said, ” It’s always been an honour for me and my family to be part of CASK community programmes, and our family has been very supportive in various CASK activities. I want to make a special request to CASK that they should set up an additional initiative for the benefit of the students. Scholarships will enable students to pursue their selected careers and will motivate them to perform better in their academics. And my family and I will always support CASK projects”.

Also speaking on the occasion, Mnsgr Maxim Noronha said, “These kinds of scholarship programmes will always benefit the needy students to pursue in their academics and encourage them to do more. The generosity of the Catholic community is evident when we notice their names being announced today during this programme. This kind of gesture from the Catholic community builds self-confidence among us. CASK showing their concern towards people through financial aid should be immensely appreciated. And today while CASK is distributing scholarship cheques to deserving students is indeed a generous act from their side towards students who want to start their careers No doubt that CASK has done a noble job by distributing scholarships to needy students. However, these beneficiaries need to appreciate the kind gesture from CASK, and give back part of their earnings as a contribution to CASK, when they reach greater heights, thus encouraging other students to complete their studies.”

Alister Shaun D’souza, an IIIrd year BA student at St Aloysius College expressing his gratitude to CASK for the scholarship said that during the COVID-19 time, he had also received a scholarship from a different source which helped him to continue further with his studies when his family was under financial needs. ” Today’s scholarship from CASK will go a long way in helping me in pursuing my studies, and my promise is that when I start earning after completion of my studies CASK will surely get a contribution from my side so that other needy students could pursue their academics”.

The programme was eloquently and meticulously compared by the duo Ms Ratna Pinto and Ms Marjorie Texeira, both dedicated council members of CASK, and the vote of thanks with a touch of wit was proposed by the ever-smiling and glamorous Ms Nayana Fernandes, also a Council member. Kudos to Dr Derick Lobo, a senior-most active member and Trustee of CASK who was the man behind this project in systematically arranging the scholarship programme.

In conclusion, in my perspective, while CASK is doing yeomen service in helping the needy and also deserving students to aspire to their dreams, and to carry on with their community service they appreciate the support from generous donors and well-wishers. And we should know that giving is something done voluntarily. Giving should not be done under compulsion, coercion, duress, or conviction. There are some exceptions, of course. When you do give, you are to give what you have chosen in your heart. Those who take pity on those less fortunate than us are true neighbours and caregivers.

The joy of being able to bless and give someone you love and care, and to make them smile, is priceless. The satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of others cannot be overstated. Knowing that you have helped make someone else’s life a little brighter and better is a special feeling, and one that will last with you for a long time. And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy. So if you are looking for a way to enhance your act of sharing and giving experience, try giving back now. Let’s give to the less fortunate, ashrams, non-profit organizations, needy families and children, and others a feeling of hope, and make a difference in their lives. And one place you can donate some of your wealth is CASK, where members are inviting well-wishers and friends to be partners in their endeavours to help in their community-oriented projects.

We need to share part of our wealth towards those in need but never expect anything in return. Like in the Bible it says- But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked”.And I am happy that CASK is doing yeomen service towards the needy, and also to the students who want to better their future careers. LONG LIVE CASK!

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