Message from the President - 25 November 2017
Dear fellow Loyolites,
Challenges bring the best out of people and organisations. When LOBA (through the LWI - Loyola Welfare Initiative) embarked on its plan to raise a one-time corpus of Rs 2.5 crores, it was seen as something almost insurmountable. It would test 4,000 Loyolites and their ability to unite for a common cause. If one works out the math, it's a tiny sliver of what each student coughs up as school fees these days. But that’s not the point. In fact is that if one has to contribute, he should be convinced about the whys and the hows and the whats of it.
During the fund raising drive we interacted with a few batches from the 1970s and 1980s. That's when we realised there were many questions that were still unanswered. Many of you are perhaps indecisive simply because you don't have all the answers.
Here are a few that may help you decide.
While we Loyolites pride ourselves on having a strong moral fibre and a social conscience, it was felt that is was time that we used our skills and resources collectively. And we felt we should start with the school and its staff. The medical insurance scheme (scheme 1) has been enthusiastically welcomed by staff.
Those who have seen our retired uncles and aunties of late would have noticed that they are still working, soldiering on because they have nothing to fall back on. They need our help and support, at least financially.
What is LOBA’s plan?
Our proposal is to create a corpus, the income from which can be used to finance our two schemes. As it becomes self sustaining, succeeding LOBA office bearers can focus on other areas. The pension scheme (scheme 2) is only for 9 people as of now. Those retiring from school later (the next person is in 2027) will be decided on at that time.
Who all are covered?
There are at present twelve people who worked as non teaching staff alive today, of whom nine have completed fifteen years of service. This was the minimum period of service that we decided on, in consultation with the school authorities.
What about Varghese Uncle? And the others?
Varghese Uncle lost his wife a year prior to his own demise. The depression that followed it was also a factor in his suicide. His son works at Loyola. Regarding the others some of us have been to their homes and have been convinced that they need help financially. Joseph Uncle still lives in a rented house - does not have one of his own. Lazar Uncle is struggling with cardiac issues but still working since he has nothing to fall back on.
Quantum of pension?
We need to give them something that is neither inadequate (say INR 5000 per month) nor something extravagant. Thus we arrived at the figure of INR 10,000 per month. It looks a neat, round figure and is probably sufficient for their basic needs. The exact payout will be determined by end of December when we know what we have been able to muster from all groups.
Regarding the teaching staff who retired?
All of them are comfortably placed monetarily. Yes, they have health issues for which they need assistance. We can always add someone's name to the list if we know that they need help.
How much should each batch contribute? How much has been collected?
We have a deadline to raise Rs 2-2.5 crores for our schemes and we are targeting Rs 10 lakhs from each batch. At least 5 batches have already promised to top that figure. In the past month, without much of a campaign, we raised about Rs 17 lakhs with one Loyolite contributing Rs 5 lakhs and 5 others putting in at least Rs 1 lakh each.
One of which involves paying out a pension proportionate to the corpus mobilised at the end of December. Another idea would be to allow a batch to pitch in the amount for a staff member every year. So we would just need 9 willing batches. But the downside is that we would still need funds for the insurance scheme. At this point, we have not taken any final decision on this.
What about Foreign contributions?
Foreign contributions are a strict no-no as we become eligible to apply for FCRA clearance only in 2019. Until then, for our non-resident alumni, please route your contributions through your local bank accounts.
What else has LOBA done to strengthen the organisation?
- A database that is now around 3000 (75% of total). Its validation is expected to roll out in the first week December.
- Active Chapters in Kochi, National Capital Region, Singapore, Bangalore, UK with representatives in the Global ExCom.
- A Batch Ambassador group in WhatsApp (143 members at last count), that will work as a bridge between the parent organisation and the batches.
- A Communication team that will ensure all messages reach you through channels at its disposal.
- Financial compliance. We have applied for 12AA Registration. Our accounts are audited and are up for scrutiny. We have a separate account for LWI - which is mandatory as per law.
- Annual Global Leadership Awards – a completely sponsored event that brings the Loyola family together.
What can you do? How much should each person contribute?
If we put our mind to this, we can raise the amount. For it to happen, we need each and every one of you to contribute in your own way. Nothing is too little. Each person should convince your classmate to do the same. Younger batches should rally around and ensure you also make your vital contributions. After all it is for your beloved Uncles and teachers.
When I met someone from a junior batch, he told me almost sheepishly. “See, I have just settled into a small job. Do you think I can contribute Rs 1,000 per month for that is all I can spare?” To me that sounded like a million bucks. It isn’t all about how much you can contribute, it is about whether you are convinced about it. And if you are convinced, it doesn't really matter how much you contribute. Every little drop helps.
Thank you dear Loyolites,
Pradeep P. Suthan (1985)
President, Loyola Old Boys’ Association
Note: C.V. Ram Mohan is the ExCom representative who has been spearheading the fund drive. Should you have any concerns you may either write to Ram or to me or Anand or any of the ExCom members and we would be ready to answer your queries. Ram Mohan is available on firstname.lastname@example.org or on +91 98954 62916.
HOW TO GIVE
You can pay by cheque or transfer the money online using the following information.
Name: Loyola Old Boys Association
Bank: State Bank of India
Current Account: 67397840100
You can route the money individually or through a common account of your batch.
Important: Please mention your name and batch in the online transfer form under 'Remarks'. If possible, please also send us a message via email (email@example.com) or phone/Whatsapp (+91 98954 62916) stating your name, batch, and amount donated.
Queries? Contact CV Ram Mohan (1985) - firstname.lastname@example.org - +91 98954 62916
Message from the President - 12 September 2017
Dear fellow Loyolites,
We have always been encouraged to do and think like citizens who care for the world.
When LOBA launched the Global Leadership Awards it was meant to be a means to an end. A means to unite a large network of old boys, for a larger good. The Loyola Welfare Initiative (LWI) was introduced in Dec 2015 with the purpose of putting our minds and resources together to make a contribution to society. The first project under this initiative was a medical insurance scheme for the school staff, both serving and retired, for a coverage of Rs 2 lakhs each. We can be proud of the fact that not many school alumni groups in the country have implemented such a scheme.
After spending the best years of their lives at school, the vast majority of the non-teaching staff are still in employment to sustain themselves. Hence the second major initiative was proposed in Jan 2017, a Pension Scheme for the non-teaching staff. This was ratified by the General Body at the 43rd AGM.
After discussions among ourselves and the school authorities, it was decided that the beneficiaries would be those who worked at school for at least 15 years and who retired from school. Such persons would receive Rs.10,000 per month.
The nine beneficiaries, thus identified, are:
1. Shri. S. Joseph, 2. Shri. E. Lazer, 3. Shri. Abdul Aziz, 4. Shri. A. Rajappan, 5. Smt. Sumathy C., 6. Shri. Mathew, 7. Smt. Blaisy, 8. Shri. Jose and 9. Shri. Mathai.
This pension scheme would not be extended to the current staff.
The medical insurance scheme is a bare-bones policy and we may need to expand its scope later. We anticipate that the expense may rise to Rs.6 lakhs in its complete avatar. The pension scheme will entail an expenditure of Rs.11 lakhs per annum. All things considered, we foresee an annual expenditure of approx Rs.20 lakhs per year. We cannot approach you for funds every year but if we can generate a corpus of about Rs.2 to 2.5 crore, then we can run these schemes with the interest that will accrue from this corpus, leaving the corpus untouched. Funds coming in for LWI are maintained separate from the rest of the LOBA accounts, and will remain so. The LOBA accounts are being audited every year to ensure financial probity.
The initial fund drive launched in 2016, for the medical insurance scheme, saw around 150 Loyolites contributing to a total of Rs.18 lakhs. Out of this, LOBA spent Rs.5.3 lakhs for the insurance scheme in 2016 and this year's renewal with New India Assurance cost us Rs.3.9 lakhs.
There is always a question as to how much of a contribution is enough - may we suggest an average of a one-time contribution of Rs.10,000 per person or Rs.10 lakhs per batch? Many benevolent individuals have already contributed/promised Rs.1 lakh each while a former generous Loyolite has committed Rs.5 lakhs as his contribution towards LWI.
Starting today, we may contact you either directly or through your Batch Ambassadors. We have already reached out and interacted with Loyolites of 1984, 1983, 1992, 1988, 1987 and now just last week with the BoSS (Batch of 77). Feedback and support that we receive each time gives us the confidence to march forward.
We plan to raise the required funds by end of December and launch the pension scheme soon after. This wouldn't take off without your wholehearted support. It's time to make a difference.
Pradeep P. Suthan
President, Loyola Old Boys’ Association