Harvard Fundraising

Harvard Tamil Support

On 11/04/2017 Valluvan Tamil Academy (VTA), Virginia, USA arranged a grand banquet to raise funds for Harvard Tamil Chair (HTC). More than 630 kids studying Tamil in VTA.  800 people including family member’s part of the school and their friends attended the event. 

Lunch Distribution

Many VTA volunteers joined hands and made this a successful event. They worked together with a smile on their face. The crowed was managed so smoothly, the parking was efficiently directed by the volunteers, food was served in an orderly fashion with no wait time at the stations and the finance team was kept busy in collecting the checks.  

Great Support from our Volunteer team

Food was catered from Madras Chopsticks in Herndon VA. The owners Mr. Guru and Mr. Johan served a delicious meal at zero cost. When Mr. Guru gave the speech in the end he honored the VTA volunteers comparing how less the cost of food when compared to the time donated by VTA volunteers. Such is the nature of mind of the entire Tamil community who truly understand their duty and whole heartedly willing to go an extra mile for establishing Harvard Tamil Chair.

Valluvan Members Great Support for the good cause!!!

The success of this fund raising event was made possible by the tireless volunteers of VTA who reached out to each member and other friends and raised awareness about HTC. More than 500 families were contacted by Phone, Email and in person visits. Within three weeks for the grand banquet they were able to reach out the entire community. Volunteers mainly remained the beauty and antiquity of Tamil language, its culture and heritage. Tamil families come together with such a passion to serve for HTC.

The children of VTA were so happy and realized the importance of Tamil language. They started feeling Tamil as their mother tongue, gave the respect for the language and begin to own Tamil as their language. This is a grand success in passing Tamil to the next generation of USA born Tamil children.

Members support

Sa Parthasarathy from valaitamil.com interviewed participants attending the fundraiser and made a HTC promo video . Dr. Sornam Sankar was thankful to all the VTA volunteers who made this impossible task a grand success and made it like a family event. 

Valaitamil Partha

     A week later, on 11/11/2017 HTC board members, Dr. Janakiraman and Dr. Sornam Sankar accompanied Mr. Jonathan Ripley, Preceptor in Tamil Language from Harvard University to Valluvan Tamil Academy. VTA members and President Mr. Baskar Kumaresan received them. 

Mr. Agathiyan Benedict, one of the well-known member of Washington DC Tamil Sangam, recognized the volunteers and called their names. Mr. Jonathan Ripley was given the honor of presenting awards to the VTA volunteers.

Mr. Sivakumar Paramasivam, another well-known member of Washington DC Tamil Sangam introduced Dr. Sornam Sankar to the VTA.  Dr. Sornam Sankar talked about the nature of his work as a HTC board member and recognized VTA for its dedication in teaching Tamil. He honored Valluvan Tamil Academy’s President Mr. Baskar Kumaresan by presenting him a book, Tamil: A Biography by Dr. David Shulman. Dr. Sornam Sankar fondly mentioned Dr. David Shulman’s presentation about Sangam Tamil and Kamban’s poem at Harvard University the day before.

Mr. Sathish Krishnamurthy one of the VTA Teacher introduced Dr. Janakiiraman. He aptly mentioned the Thirukural, “Ithanai ithanaal ivanmutikkum endraaindhu
adhanai avankan vidal” Kural -517

honoring Dr. Janakiraman one of the seed donor of HTC who donated $500,000 also with Dr. Samdandam who donated another $500,000 are the right persons for this job.

Dr. Janakiraman gave a wonderful, heart touching speech and described his work in bringing together the hearts of Tamils across the globe. He was not bothered about the money he donated and said it was nothing compared to the satisfaction of seeing the unity of Tamil people and raising the much deserved honor of Tamil in the literary world. His selfless commitment and graceful speech generated a warm hearted feeling within everyone. Dr. Janakiraman is a living example of “Sandron” – a wise and compassionate person as described by the saintly poet Valluvar. Such a “Sandron’s” virtue of fragrance will make this world a better place. Mother Tamil surely blessed his heart and choose the right person to accomplish this monument task of establishing HTC. Thank you Sir. 

Mr. Vijay Sathiya another VTA Teacher introduced Mr. Jonathan Ripley, from Harvard University. He was proud about soon to-be realized, one hundred years of dream by Mahakavi Bharathiar to spread the sweetness of Tamil all over the world “Themadura Tamil osai ullagellam paravum vagai seithal vendum” by establishing HTC. He shared his heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly in spreading the word about HTC and raising awareness in less than a month’s time. He remembered Mr. Ripley’s passion in learning Tamil by spending two and half years in Madurai, Tamilnadu and his fondness to its delicacy “Malligaipoo Idli and Thakaali Chutney”. Mr. Ripley rose to the occasion and charged the VTA crowed by his Tamil language skills and was so proud for the support given by the VTA community for HTC. 

Our Volunteers talks about Harvard Tamil Chair

Finally, Valluvan Tamil Academy board presented the check for HTC, total $40,000

40000 $ Raised from Valluvan Tamil School

Mr. Mahendran Periyasamy another Teacher of VTA auctioned a rare copy of Thirukural starting at $25. The bidding was so vibrant and went multiple rounds. Finally it was auctioned for $150.  The winner Mrs. Dhana received the book from Mr. Ripley.


VTA children signed off the event by presenting a collage made from pictures of famous Tamil poets to the Mr. Jonathan Ripley. Mr. Ripley was so touched by the gesture he promised to hang the picture in his office.

Thanks for supporting the Tamil school

(Author- Vijay Sathiya, Teacher in VTA)

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Valluvan Tamil Academy (VTA) is a charitable,non-profit, secular organization established in Virginia, primarily to teach Tamil language to the children.