LAHORE - The Government College University Lahore Endowment Fund Trust has raised an amount of Rs10m for those deserving students who cannot afford their academic charges.

The amount was raised at a fundraiser chaired by Punjab Governor and Old Ravian Sardar Latif Khosa while GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, EFT President Iqbal Z Ahmad, Secretary Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt and noted businessmen from all over the country attended the annual fundraiser.

Speaking on the occasion, the Punjab Governor said that the world over nations had progressed by the mean of developing their educational institutions but unfortunately in Pakistan education was not given due priority. He said Endowment Fund Trust of Harvard University, US alone stands $32 billion and this was what which made the America superpower.

He said that student unions inculcated awareness among students and play effective role in their character building. He said that it was the Bukhari Auditorium of the GCU which taught him art of public speaking and tolerance to face criticism. “This is the place where I am hooted and appreciated,” he added.

Addressing the ceremony, VC Prof Khaleeq revealed that the university Endowment Fund has swelled to Rs 128 million with the efforts of Old Ravians. He said that “he wants to provide free education to all GCU students, but unfortunately resources don’t allow him.” However, he said that, despite all the budgetary deficits, he has slashed the university fee by 35pc and hostels charges by almost 50pc. He said that the university is also giving financial aid to students from its own budget, besides GCU EFT would also give away 11 golden and 15 silver scholarships to students this year.

He said that each golden scholarship covers the hostels and university fee of a student.

GCU EFT Secretary Prof Khalid Butt said that the trust endowment funds never spent the principal amount but the profit, they earn from the principal amount, is spent on deserving students and development projects. He said if the philanthropists, Old Ravians and government supported, from 10 years now the trust would be providing scholarships all the needy students of the university.

Speaking on the occasion, Iqbal Z Ahmad announced a donation of Rs 2 million to the GCU Endowment Fund for initiating two life-time golden scholarships for deserving students, saying that new initiatives are being taken for further strengthening this trust which includes a plan to involve foreign NGOs and embassies in their donor network.

The GCU EFT President said that Trust is also planning to hold fundraisers in Karachi, UAE and UK.

The Warid Telecom, Allied Bank and Bank Al-Habib also pledged to initiate golden scholarships for the GCU needy students, while scores of Old Ravians including Mian Misbah, Mian Asharf and Mian Muzaffar gave away donation of Rs 0.1 million to the trust.