The Friends of the South Asian Studies Council at Yale has been working since 1991 to support and to promote South Asian studies at Yale. It was recognized early by Yale faculty and the Connecticut community that there was not a relevant South Asia scholarly presence at Yale. Efforts were then undertaken to raise funds to bring South Asia scholars to give lectures, to organize symposia and conferences, to create courses in the languages, history, politics, and other facets of South Asia, and to provide summer travel fellowships for students.
The Friends also recognized the need for an endowment to provide a source of income to continue support of South Asia activities. Working with faculty and students, Friends solicited South Asian alumni in 1995. This resulted in The Doctor Malathy Singh Fund established by Dinakar Singh, a 1990 graduate of Yale College, in memory of his mother. The lectureship allows a year-long visit by a scholar of South Asia and supports the teaching of three to four South Asia courses annually. Friends also decided to establish an endowment of $100,000 and have been working towards raising these funds. In the last two years, musical concerts and film screenings have been organized, raising about one-fifth of the target.
The Friends actively participate in South Asia Studies Council (SASC) and South Asian Society (SAS) organized activities such as film screenings, Diwali, and cultural functions. They have worked closely with SASC and SAS to ascertain and to help fulfill the needs of South Asia at Yale. Indeed, just as the Friends’ efforts were critical in providing support for the establishment of a South Asian Studies Committee, it remains equally involved and important in the current efforts to improve and to expand South Asian language study at Yale, especially the study of Hindi.
Dr. Pravin Bhatt, 203.281.6208
Navin Trivedi, 203.795.6734
Dr. V. Sreenivas, 203.389.9827