Dr. Ravi Gukathasan, who completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough, has gifted the institution with their largest donation ever from an alum. This announcement comes in time for Tamil Heritage Month, which is celebrated in January in Canada.
Gukathasan’s $2-million donation will help with the expansion of the university’s Tamil studies program:
“U of T Scarborough professor Bhavani Raman is hoping to create a vibrant centre for learning and discovery about a culture that has existed for millennia but may be unfamiliar to many Torontonians.
Raman, who teaches history, is the chair of Tamil Worlds Initiative, a tri-campus program that holds talks and discussions on Tamil history, culture, religion and politics. Themes range from postwar developments in Sri Lanka to environmental history, migration and feminism. The events are open to anyone, she says, noting that the program offers a place for students and members of the public, whether Tamil-speaking or not, “to understand urgent issues pertaining to our globalizing world, in ways that they can relate to in their own life.”
Through Tamil Worlds, Raman is also facilitating connections for students to do internships in Sri Lanka, a country to which many of Toronto’s Tamils trace their origins.
In the future, she’d like to offer language classes, so students can understand the scholarship, read novels or poetry and conduct research on histories of Tamil communities in eastern Toronto. She’d also like to invite more visiting Tamil scholars to U of T.”