Alumni Affairs

Giving Back to SMS

Alumni have donated cash to SMS individually and in groups, a rupee at a time, or more handsome amounts.

By the small dorm bathing room, there used to be this structure, with parallel bars and pull-up rings outside. Jagdish the carpenter's workshop was at the far end (window frames lying by the door bear evidence).

About 1998 it was replaced by this technology building, the structure and/or contents funded partly by an anonymous alumnus donation.

There have also been donations in expertise and effort. Let's get into some of the causes and mechanics of donation.


The mission of the Christian Brothers is evolving. At one time it was entirely teaching, top quality of course, and that spawned schools like SMS, that groomed a national and international intellectual elite. The CBs' mission is now increasingly to mix in outreach to those starved of learning (and breakfast too), which was what motivated Edmund Rice to found the CBs in education-deprived Ireland 200 years ago. This 20-minute documentary by Edmund Rice Development (India) is a tour of several CB projects in northeast India. The (Irish) narrator begins: “There has been talk that the Brothers have moved to areas of greater poverty and deprivation so as to be relevant to the needs of the country at this time. Two Calcutta-based ex-pupils, who wish to remain anonymous, decided to go and see for themselves what exactly the Brothers were doing.” Caution: there's no audio the first 30 seconds.

Back in Abu, there have been a few initiatives among alumni to raise funds in concerted drives. The most recent is particularly congruent with the modern mission of the CBs.

2023CurrentEdi Alva (1967) and Br Raj Noronha (1976, featured in the doco above) set out to revive the Bal Vidya Mandir for Sitavan. Sitavan is a slum village a couple of minutes down Tiger Path, the new de facto living quarters for bearers and helper staff who used to live in tubular buildings down from the bofs. Bal Vidya Mandir is an initiative by SMS to educate the Sitavan kids in basic literacy and maths, and to teach vocational skills to dropouts.

This is a substantial ongoing project, with a page of its own.
2013ConcludedAlan Jobard (1981) led a donation drive to renovate the kitchen
2010ConcludedAlums from the 1950s, led by Bob Amore (1957), and 1970s, led by Frankie Dias (1973), ran a contest, the Upper Classmen versus the Young Bucks, and put up a sizeable donation. There are varying estimates of the yield, maybe Rs 10-25 lakh. It was originally intended to have been a Goyal Memorial Bursary Fund in memory of beloved Hindi teacher Mr LR Goyal, and a Keane Memorial Fund in memory of Br JA Keane, principal in the 1960s and 1970s. Neither label took shape and the cheque wound up being an untied token of gratitude.
1999ConcludedAlumni contributed towards the swimming pool
1987ConcludedFrank John Dias (1969) solicited donations, not for SMS, but for video equipment for Our Lady of Salvation School, Dadar

This is not an exhaustive list of alumni philanthropy. The Hall of Fame lists other wonderful initiatives not directed at SMS.

How to Donate

You can donate to a specific project or the school's general fund, at SMS or for the Christian Brothers projects nationally.

Receiving donations can be a delicate matter as there are now tight government controls on the flow of funds, particularly to faith-based institutions, and particularly from abroad.

The Congregation of Christian Brothers in India (CCBI) is set up with the administrative infrastructure to accept donations on behalf of individual CB schools. The recommended path is (a) Discuss needs with SMS, (b) Send funds to the CCBI in Delhi, earmarking for school(s)/project(s) as appropriate. There's a form to be filled out, which differs depending on whether the fund source is Indian or foreign. (This being a universally accessible web site, the account numbers in these forms are masked out; you can get them from SMS in Step a.)

If you live abroad: There are sometimes significant fees (~$30-40) to wire funds, maybe a little less for a hardcopy bank draft (which can get lost in the mail — you don't want that). Ask about a wire transfer in the currency of the recipient (rupees), rather than your currency. That may reduce or eliminate the charges. On the Indian side, the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) governs some of this. The overseas-donation form includes items such as a copy of your passport, Income Tax Department's Permanent Account Number (PAN) if you have one, and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) ID if you have one. It's a bit to navigate, and a bunch of personal information to surrender. You may want to pool funds with friends, to organize a single remittance. Or have someone in India front the funds, and reimburse them (in cash, to avoid an unwarranted tax levy on them). Either way, being a foreign donation, you probably won't get a charitable tax deduction in your country.