Members of student’s society Kartavya, who are currently involved in educating 500 slum children, in front of their stall in Dhanbad on Sunday. Pictures by Gautam Dey
Corporates, top government advisers, chairmans — they were all there at the Indian School of Mines campus, minus their business suits on Sunday, flying kites, playing tennis and sweating it out on the badminton courts during Basant 2K13, a daylong alumni meet of the multi-departmental technical university.
The meet, that has over the years become a must-visit-event for old birds of the varsity, saw 250 alumni taking the walk down the nostalgia lane this year, doing their bit for the environment, catching up over dinner and reliving the good old days.
The former students, many of who had come with their families, started the day on a musical note, with their better halves taking part in a antakshari competition, crooning the best of Bollywood numbers at the executive development centre of the institute.
The crooning session done, boys from the 1963 batch — around 155 in all — then took over the proceedings, fanning across various parts of the campus to undertake a massive green drive for environment conservation during which 200 saplings were planted near different hostels.
After trees it was time for some TT (table tennis) as the 1963 batch, forgetting their professional obligations and office suits, locked horns with each other over some healthy competition over the board. A game of tennis and badminton, which also heavy participation, were also on the list of activities for the day.
Speaking to The Telegraph later, co-ordinator of Basant 2K13 Shubham Mishra said the idea was the give the professionals a time away from work that they remember and cherish.
“All the events had been conceived by us to ensure that the alumni could get a break from their hectic lives and relieve the good times that they once spent on this campus. None of the events had any winners,” Mishra, a third year petroleum engineering student of the institute, said.
He added that the alumni later also took a stroll of the lower grounds of the institute where more than 17 stalls had been put up by various students societies highlighting the work they did.
Next in line was a felicitation programme around 6pm, where the institute honoured two of its former students — chairman-cum-managing director of Bharat Coking Coal T.K. Lahiry (1967 batch) and former adviser of the Union coal ministry N.N. Gautam — with the Distinguished Alumnus Awards.
Five others, chairman of Coal India Limited S. Narsingh Rao, chairman-cum-managing director of ONGC Sudhir Vasudev, Harish K. Gupta, former ISM director D.K. Paul and David K. Picha Muthu, were feted with the Basant Samman.
Harihar Prasad, a 1963 batch alumnus who retired as the chief general manager of Mahanadi Coalfield Limited in 1998, told The Telegraph that the experience for him had been “awesome”.
“It is like coming back home after 50 years. The institute has grown in terms of its infrastructure as expected. Dozens of new courses have come up. But the one thing that refuses to change is the warmth. I visited my room in the Diamond hostel where I stayed for three years with V.K. Singh. It was like going back to my college days,” Prasad recollected.
Prasad’s batch-mate R.N. Purekar, who retired from Western Coalfields Limited, added that indeed a lot had changed over the years.
“We had to go to Jharia in our days to watch movies . This town now has multiplexes and malls,” he said.