SC Tamil-1

Southern California Tamil associations and more than 13 Tamil schools from the area gathered Dec. 8 to raise funds in an effort to create a Tamil chair at Harvard University. More than 250 guests attended to event, including Indian American Cottalango Leon, who won the Academy award for scientific and technical achievement. (photo provided)

The Southern California Tamil associations and more than a dozen Tamil schools from Southern California, from Los Angeles to San Diego, Dec. 8 united to raise funds in an effort to set up a Tamil chair at Harvard University.

The fundraiser banquet included classical, semi-classical, mime dance performances, a live music show and an auction, as well as child dance and song performances.

“The fundraiser was a huge success” said one of the organizers, according to a news release.

More than 250 guests arrived to participate in the fundraiser at the banquet hall in the “Yellow Chilli” restaurant at Buena Park. Among the guests included prominent personalities such as Indian American Cottalango Leon, who won the Academy award for scientific and technical achievement in 2016 (see India-West story here); Dr. Venu Prabhakar, Dr. S.K. Durairaj and Dr. Krishna Reddy.

According to the news release, Harvard University has accepted a proposal to set up a “Sangam Tamil Chair” in the Department of South Asian Studies with the focus being on Tamil Sangam Literature and all Tamil literature influenced by it.

Tamils from all around the world are fundraising to establish the chair, through the nonprofit Tamil Chair Inc. To date, the organization has raised an estimated $4.8 million. To establish the chair the cost will be $6 million.

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