| Shiba Maggon (in black suit) set to release balloons to inaugurate the ninth foundation day celebrations of National Institute of Technology in Patna on Monday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
A freak accident on Monday was the only shrill note in the inaugural harmony of National Institute of Technology (NIT)-Patna’s weeklong ninth foundation day celebrations.
The chief guest, Shiba Maggon, a key basketball player in the Indian women’s squad over the years and now an internationally recognised referee, got her hair burnt while releasing a bunch of gas balloons in the air to mark the start of the events.
Sparks from low intensity crackers burst at the spot around that time made almost 50 balloons pop within 2-3 seconds, burning a part of Maggon’s hair and inflicting minor burn injuries on a few other faculty members. Maggon left the college minutes after the close shave.
Prior to the accident, Maggon, in her inaugural speech as the chief guest, said: “As I am closely associated with basketball, it gives me immense pleasure to inaugurate the foundation day celebrations of this institute, which start with a basketball match. I wish the very best to all the students and the college authorities for successfully organising the event. I hope to see good basketball players from here at the national-level.”
Early morning, NIT students took out a torchlight procession from their campus to Kargil Chowk and paid tributes to the martyrs.
The newly developed basketball court was inaugurated during the inaugural session. The day wore on with various extra-curricular activities, including essay, story and poem writing competitions, parliamentary debates, paper dance and badminton matches.
A basketball match between the students of the third and the fourth year was also organised.
Students of different batches of the tech institute and from several other colleges in the state capital, including Indian Institute of Technology-Patna and Patna Women’s College, are taking part in the numerous events to be held during the seven-day-long affair.
“Around 2,000 students, including 100-plus students from other colleges, have registered themselves for various events to be held during this annual day celebrations of the institute. The various activities are being held under three segments — outdoor, indoor and cultural. Total five games would be played in the outdoor society — khokho, football, volleyball, basketball and cricket. Basketball would be played for the first time. Similarly, table tennis, chess, badminton and carom would be played in the indoor games segment. The cultural society would organise literature writing, debate, speech and extempore among several activities. The basic idea is to improve the personality of students by inculcating group activities and teamwork in them,” said M.M. Chaudhary, the dean of students’ welfare, NIT.
The organisers seemed enthusiastic about the events.
“Our activities are being held under the banner of Melangé 13, which is basically a cultural fest. The various activities in this fest include Raga, a song competition, Sanhita, an aptitude competition, and Nrityangana, a dance contest, among others. These activities give an opportunity to the students to explore various aspects of life so that they can identify their hidden qualities and nurture them,” said Vikash Kumar, the secretary of the cultural society and fourth-year student of computer science branch at NIT.