Generous Contribution Elevates MGU U3A: Expatriate Family Donates 49 Cents of Land

In a remarkable philanthropic gesture, the Manthuruthil family of Kaippuzha, Kottayam, has given a significant lift to the University of the Third Age (U3A) at Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU). Mary Beatrice Mody and her sister-in-law Agnes, both non-resident Indians (NRIs), have bestowed a substantial New Year gift of 49 cents of land, marking a pivotal moment for MGU’s U3A, which has garnered overwhelming acclaim within just one year of its inception.

This generous contribution, comprising 21 cents near the Kaipuzha Village Office and an additional 28 cents facilitated through a formal memorandum of understanding, stems from Agnes and Beatrice’s exposure to U3A’s activities through media coverage and engaging discussions with organisation members.

The Manthuruthil family has expressed that the donation is a testament to their recognition of the commendable work undertaken by U3A at MG University. With a mission to enhance the lives of senior citizens, the organisation’s objectives deeply resonate with the donors, emphasising the importance of initiatives that cater to the evolving needs of the senior population in alignment with changing societal dynamics. Agnes, a permanent resident of Canada, and Beatrice in the USA, provide a global perspective to their support for programmes dedicated to the elderly.

George Manthuruthil, Brother of Beatrice, emphasised the potential transformative impact, stating, “If U3A of MGU secures land, building, and other basic infrastructure, it can usher in drastic changes.”

Vice-Chancellor, Dr. C T Aravindakumar has unveiled plans to construct a dedicated building and related facilities for U3A on the donated land, marking a tangible step towards enhancing the organisation’s capacities. Expressing profound gratitude to Agnes and Beatrice, the Vice-Chancellor underlined the significance of community support in advancing educational and societal activities, particularly those focused on the well-being of elderly residents.

In acknowledgment of their philanthropy, Dr. P.T. Baburaj, Director of the Inter-University Centre for Disability Studies, honoured both donors. University Registrar, Dr. K. Jayachandran, and a distinguished group including Dr. Robinet Jacob, Dr. Tony Thomas, Dr. Graceamma Mathew, Jacob Kuriakose, and Gram Panchayat member Lui Medayil, were also present at the ceremony.

The University of the Third Age is an international movement dedicated to the education and stimulation of retired community members in their third ‘age’ of life. MGU proudly stands as the first university to establish a U3A unit in India. The rapid expansion of U3A, with units in all districts, and the designation of Elikulam Gram Panchayat in Kottayam district as a U3A panchayat, underscore the success and widespread acceptance of its operations.

In a promising development, the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, has expressed interest in partnering with MG University U3A, showcasing potential international alliances and an exchange of valuable information and experiences. The creation of a special committee, led by Syndicate members Dr. A Jose and Dr. K R Baiju, further exemplifies the University’s commitment to supporting and enhancing U3A’s operations.