Melbourne, June 29: 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the Australian Indian Benevolent and Charitable Trust (AIBCT).

“To mark the 10th anniversary, we are holding a concert by two leading Hindi film musicians; Mukhter Shah and Sangeetha Melekar” said Dr T. J. Rao, former Honorary Consul General of India talking to Bharat Times.

Shah and Melekar are Hindi playback singers in the Indian film industry who will be accompanied by an orchestra of 8 members, according to AIBCT.

“The trust was established to assist people in cases of domestic violence and for funerals for Indians in need”.

Talking about the work of AIBCT, since its inception, Dr Rao said that “the trust has given financial assistance to nine cases of domestic violence and carried out fourteen funerals especially for the student community who did not have the means to pay for them.

Former Honorary Consul General for India in Melbourne Dr T. J. Rao
Former Honorary Consul General for India in Melbourne Dr T. J. Rao

“The body of a student who died in a car accident was kept in the mortuary of a public hospital. His brother came and identified the body and offered to send money for repatriation of the body.

“For six months the hospital kept the body because the family could not raise the money. The trust, then, provided money for the cremation and sent the ashes back to the family. This is just one example of how the funds are utilised”, Dr Rao explained.

The Trust has also helped international students from India.

This year a student from the Asha Foundation, New Delhi was assisted to join Melbourne University to study Information Technology. He was given a scholarship and his accommodation fees were also waived.

“However, he required funding for daily expenses. The trust provided $5000 a year to assist him”, Dr Rao enumerated.

He confirmed that the Trust has invested $500,000 in J.B Were and “4 per cent of this amount (as per government rules) is distributed yearly to those in need.

“It is my desire to raise the capital to 1 million dollars so that the trust can function more effectively.

Talking about the upcoming concert, Dr Rao said the purpose of the concert was to create “awareness and raise funds from donors towards this noble cause.

“When sufficient funds have been raised, we plan to purchase a shelter for victims of domestic violence where they may seek temporary shelter”, he said.

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