Mangaluru: The Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) is handing over scholarships to children of needy families, bereaved due to covid or affected due to covid hospitalization, along with CASK Annual Scholarships on Saturday July 24 at 10.30 am at the Bishop’s House Hall. It will be handed over by His Lordship Peter Paul Saldanha.
Last year, during the long national lockdown, CASK collaborated with Canara Organization for Development & Peace (CODP) and contributed Rs.2.5 lakhs for food kits. However, in 2021, they felt that food kits were not the main priority during this year, with people suffering due lack of beds, oxygen, medicines, high costs of hospitalization and large number of covid deaths. Thus, a consensus emerged, to contact all parishes of Mangalore Diocese and get details of families affected by deaths due to covid and offer Education support, at least partially to the ‘Needy’ among them.
They contacted all 125 Parish Priests (PPs) of Mangaluru Diocese and received response from all of them. 41 out of 125 parishes, confirmed at least one covid death in their parish; the total number of covid deaths in Mangaluru diocese is about 90. However, 27 of the 41 PPs informed that the families affected by covid deaths in their parish do not require education support, the reasons – no children in school/college or children well-settled or family financially well-off or other donors/relations have come forward to help. 14 of the 41 PPs informed that the families affected by covid death in their parish have children in schools/colleges and the families are needy and deserve education support. They also decided to extend support to families where one or more members were hospitalized due to covid and recovered but faced huge hospital bills, wiping out their savings, burdened with debts and their children facing a bleak future. The team started a separate account for this project and appealed to their members and well-wishers to contribute. The response was very encouraging. Therefore, they extended the benefit to all 52 parishes of Udupi and 46 parishes of Chikmagalur diocese, a total 223 parishes.
They compiled a list of Thirty-two (32) beneficiaries – 22 from Mangalore – 3 from Udupi and 5 from Chikmagalur dioceses. In addition, there is a 3rd year Nursing student from Jharkhand studying at Holy Cross College of Nursing, Kamagere-Kollegal Taluk and a girl from St Agnes College. Scholarships worth Rs.Seven Lakhs (Rs.7,00,000/-) are granted to these 32 beneficiaries.
CASK operates and manages the following Endowment Funds 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 Fund; (3) Bertie & Juliet Pinto Endowment Fund; (4) Marigold Endowment Fund; (5) Ladislaus B.Aranha 100th Birth Anniversary Endowment Fund.
CASK has been granting Annual Scholarships for deserving students each year, towards Books, Extra coaching and transport. In 2020-2021, scholarships worth Rs.3,84,700/- were granted to 52 students from 34 institutions, averaging approximately Rs.10,000/- per student.
In 2021-2022, the number of applications for these scholarships has increased courtesy the covid pandemic. They have received Sixty-Seven (67) applications and CASK has sanctioned a total amount of Rs.6,35,300/- to these 67 applicants, averaging approximately Rs.10,000/- to each student.
CASK is thus catering to the needs of the community in an impactful way, within their limited resources. The Survey of all parishes of Mangalore, Udupi and Chikmagalur dioceses consisting of 223 parishes was unique and impactful, offering relief to families bereaved due to covid deaths or those affected by covid hospitalization or job losses due to covid economic down-turn.