• Financial support for college bound students
  • Improvement of premises and other infrastructure for secondary schools
  • Provision of computer centers and equipment
  • Expansion of Braille libraries and audio equipment
  • Provision of music rooms and instruments
  • Recruitment of additional staff
  • Provision of facilities for sports and outdoor activities
  • Gifts of ipods or ipads and laptops for high-calibre and deserving students

Bachelor of Arts Degree Completed

Left to Right: Ramalakshmi and Arulmozhi


In July of this year, we provided an additional teacher for English to
strengthen the standard of English instruction at St. Louis. For the first
quarter of this year, we provided two instructors for Physical Education
and Music for the blind students at a college in Chennai. We are
persuading the college to continue these facilities on a permanent basis.


In November last year Father Albert, Director of Loyola College Chennai, inaugurated the above facility, consisting of 15 sets of new computers and ancillary equipment, funded by Harry and Indra Banga from Hong Kong.


In April this year, we completed the above job, the funding of which was contributed by an overseas donor.

2010 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME (completed in July)

A total of 56 boys and girls from St. Louis Chennai, Little Flowers Convent
Chennai, Indian Blind Association High School Madurai and various other
schools from Trichy and Madurai received assistance with full/partial
financial support for various colleges. Along with 9 students sent to
colleges last year, our students presently attend the following colleges to
pursue their BA degree courses in various subjects.

Loyola College Chennai11Vivekanand College Chennai2
Madras Christian College1Madras Presidency College2
Sri Venkateshwara College2Annamalai University College1
American College Madurai11Loyola College Madurai1
Melur Arts College4Meenakshi College Madurai4
SVN College Madurai3Thiagraj College Madurai4
Santham College Madurai1Govt Arts College Mellur1
Madurai Kamraj College3Ethiraj College Chennai1
Q Millet College Chennai2Queen Mary College2
St. John’s College2SVN College1
Hindu College Nagarkoil1Periyar College Trichy2
SRN College Sattur1Puducherry Uni College1
Teachers Training College1  

A total of 14 donors are contributing toward these scholarships.

Sometimes, charity can be an eye-opener…

By Venkatesan Vembu

Posted on July 10, 2007

(This feature article, about an NRI banker-philanthropist in Hong Kong, was published in DNA edition dated July 10, 2007.)

D. K. Patel            


The missionaries of the Montford Brothers can recall with precision the moment when good fortune came knocking on the doors – literally – of the institute for the visually and hearing impaired that they run in Chennai. It happened when an NRI serial philanthropist who was on an early morning walk sauntered in and instantaneously offered to rebuild the crumbling residential school building – for which they had no way of raising money.

That act of spontaneous generosity has given a new lease of life to the St Louis Institute for the Deaf and the Blind in Chennai, which has been providing education for handicapped children since 1962. And the experience of both the donor and the donee in this case offers interesting lessons on how when it comes to donating to charitable causes, even a little drop goes a long way if intermediaries are kept out of the equation.

“From my experience, you don’t have to be rich to help others,” says Hong Kong-based private banker D.K. Patel (in picture at right), who has elevated giving to an art form by supporting numerous educational projects in Tamil Nadu and Orissa. “What you spend on a cup of coffee at Starbucks can pay for the monthly tuition of a child in kindergarten in India.”

Patel should know: it was he, who during an early morning walkabout in Adyar in Chennai, “stumbled on” the St Louis Institute and learnt of the school’s needs and offered to help with a new school building. The foundation stone for the new facility, to be built at a cost of about Rs 1.3 crore (which comes entirely from Patel’s pocket!), was laid in Chennai in mid-June.

In Patel’s estimation, it is best to avoid “intermediaries” in the donation exercise as far as possible, and to give directly to the beneficiary. Then again, it is simpler and better to help existing institutions rather than start new ones, says Patel. “A start-up typically requires large sums of money, and one has to face a number of bureaucratic hurdles.”

And given the inevitability of corruption and bribery in everyday life, Patel has a sound bit of advice for potential donors: “Please do not be put off by instances of bribery and corruption. Remember that those whom you want to help are not the culprits, but innocent sufferers. Always have their interest in mind.”

Donating, says Patel, isn’t just about signing a cheque: it is important to take an active interest in the project you want to contribute to. “If you’re donating to a school, make the effort to visit it at least once a year, talk to the teachers and interact with the children, even attend the classes.” Such interactions, he emphasises from personal experience, will open up new vistas for you about what you can do for the underprivileged.”

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