Fr. Gerard Perazzini OFM Cap. (1919-2003)
(Founder, Sacred Heart Degree College, Naipalapur, Sitapur)
An Italian by birth and an Indian in spirit, Father Gerard Perazzini was born on January 19th, 1919 in an aristocrat family at Sant Archangelo, Italy. Fr. Gerard came to India as a missionary and offered Sacred Heart Degree College as a loving gift to the youth of Sitapur.
Making the portals of the university colleges within the reach of the poor and marginalised was the indefectible vision of Fr. Gerard. Hence, he ventured into starting centres of higher and professional education in Sitapur at a time when university studies were just the prerogatives of the rich and high castes. Sacred Heart Degree College started functioning from August 1998 with two streams of science [B. Sc. (Maths.), B.Sc. (Bio.)] to which a course on Business Administration (BBA), Computer Application (BCA), Commerce (B. Com) and M.Sc. were added later. Realizing that a healthy society marches forward with equal footing of men and women, Fr. Gerard introduced co-education in the college. Thus, he rewrote the myths of a patriarchal society, ‘educated father educated sons’ with a paradigm shift, ‘educated mother educated family and thus educated society’. Now the college has strength of 1100 students, 70% of whom are girls. Empowering the women was basic to his vision of education and missionary activities.
Fr. Gerard’s vision of Sitapur did not end there. He also started a professional college in this remote village in the year 2001 when computer education was gaining momentum in the country, again in the name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to which he had a passion. Fr. Gerard ventured to start Sacred Heart Institute of Management and Technology when conglomerate corporate managements, politicians and state universities ran professional courses like MBA and MCA. Here again out of 150 professional students who follow computer science and management studies almost half of them are girls. Fr. Gerard’s dream of girls studying in a clean and studious environment came to fruition with the coming of a Girls’ hostel in the campus. The renunciation and detachment known in Indian terminology ‘vairagya’ may be the legacy he has bequeathed for the posterity. The unique contribution of Fr. Gerard to the state of Uttar Pradesh include Bishop Conrad Memorial School in Bareilly, Sacred Heart Inter College, Sitapur, BCM Hospital, Khariabad (Sitapur), Sacred Heart Degree College Naipalapur (sitapur), Sacred Heart Institute of Management and Technology, Naipalapur (Sitapur) and Sacred Heart School, sidhauli (Disst. sitapur).
Fr. Gerard, a life imbued with zeal and love of God and men and totally dedicated to the service of people left for his eternal reward in the year 2003.