A new scholarship has been in memory of an Indian student whose contribution to civic life in the city saw his name given to a West End street.
Born in Deharru, Punjab in 1898, Jainti Dass Saggar undertook a 26-day sea journey to study Medicine at University College Dundee — the forerunner of Dundee University — arriving in the city in 1919.
Dr Saggar became a local GP after graduating in 1923.
In 1931, he married Dundonian woman Jean Quinn and they had two daughters, Sheila and Kamala.
Dr Saggar served on the boards of various education and welfare bodies and was elected as a town councillor in 1936, serving Dundee as a Labour member for 18 years, until his death in 1954.
Dr Saggar remained connected with his Indian culture through his involvement over many years with Friends of India and with Indian Famine Relief.
Dundee University’s new £5,000 scholarship will be awarded alongside one of the institution’s existing Global Excellence Scholarships, to an Indian-domiciled candidate who shows potential to study an undergraduate degree, starting in 2020.
Wendy Alexander, Vice Principal (International) at Dundee University, said: “Dr Saggar was a truly inspirational character who worked to improve the quality of school meals well ahead of his time.
“He also helped open a psychiatric clinic for early mental health treatment and argued for the provision of 20 communal canteens for Dundee’s poor. He was a true example of a global citizen, who chose to study, live and improve the city he came to.
“With this new scholarship, we hope his story inspires the next generation of Dundee students.”
Dr Saggar’s daughter, Kamala, and her husband Dr John Stewart visited the university earlier this year to learn more about Jainti’s early years of study in Dundee and to find out what current Indian students think of the institution today.
Psychology professor Nick Hopkins, who welcomed the couple to the campus, said: “Jainti Dass Saggar was just one of 25 international students to study at University College Dundee at the time.
“He was an excellent student, a keen cricket and hockey player and a singer of some ability.
“He embraced Dundee and in turn was so welcomed that it is no wonder that upon his death, the then Lord Provost of Dundee, William Hughes said ‘he came to Dundee from halfway across the world, but no son of Dundee had greater love for its people or worked harder in their interest’.
“His palpable contribution to the city is a story that transcends generations and borders.”
Decisions on the recipient of the Jainti Dass Saggar Scholarship will be made on applications received before Thursday, 30th April 2020.