The Aligarh Muslim University Alumni of Australia celebrated Sir Syed Day on Saturday 31 January at the Granville Town Hall in Sydney.
Sir Syed Day is globally celebrated on the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the Aligarh Movement that greatly contributed towards the modern education of Muslims in India.
AMU Alumni of Australia was founded in the early nineties and has been holding SS Day every year inviting educationists, community leaders and diplomats for a gala dinner, inspiring talks and entertainment.
The programme started with recitation of Quran by Master Rehan Siraj and its translation by Miss Mariam Hamid.
The President of AMU Alumni, Mr Aale Ali in his welcome address paid tribute to Sir Syed for working single mindedly on his educational mission in spite of widespread opposition from the community elites of the time.
“To keep this spirit of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan alive AMU Alumni of Australia has established a scholarship program which is providing 310 scholarships every year in India for the less privileged students. This year we have planned to increase it to 350 scholarships” Mr Ali said.
“ I would like to request all of you to participate in this noble cause of educating the less privileged intelligent students by providing financial support whole heartedly” He appealed.
At this year’s event the chief guest was Mr Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India in Sydney who highlighted the contribution of Sir Syed towards modern education in India. Mr Sudhir who recently arrived in Australia is an electronic engineering graduate from IIT, Delhi having a long career with Indian Foreign Service since 1993.
The keynote speaker at SS Day was Professor Robin Choudhary who elaborated on Sir Syed’s vision for education and his great achievements and services for the community. Prof Choudhary who was born in Kashmir is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Woollongong where he has served as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering.
Dr Samiuddin Syed, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the Alumni called on Dr Azhar Nomani, also an Aligarian and a former President of the Alumni to do an audio-visual presentation on his award winning invention, the Ozone Trailer for the disinfection of water mains.
The entertainment included a poem recited in his melodious voice by Mr Khurshid Anwar, the Secretary of the Alumni and several songs and dances by children of Alumni members.
The formal programme ended with the usual tradition of Tarana recited from the stage by some members of the Alumni joined in by the audience.
Dinner was served by the popular Himalayan restaurant based in Granville. The event was sponsored by Human Appeal, Crescent Wealth and Best Price who were acknowledged during the vote of thanks.
A well documented Scholarship Report 2013-2014 was freely distributed at the event listing the names of donors and recipients of scholarships that the Alumni has established as well as a detailed audited financial report.
There has been a steady progress in donations for Alumni’s Scholarship and infrastructure support projects that currently stand at a little over $50,000.