Come spring and the weather becomes perfect for get-togethers, especially for college alumni associations. This is when former classmates meet and talk of the old days — nostalgia fills the party room. In this season, when stalwarts such as Amitabh Bachchan, Satish Kaushik and Kabir Khan are reminded of their alma mater, the question arises, how to give back to the institutions, and to society as a whole.
The achievers from DU are many, and their careers are varied. The list includes filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, author Amitav Ghosh, and Myanmarese leader and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Recently, at an alumni meet held in Mumbai, Amitabh Bachchan, along with other Kirori Mal College graduates, pledged to support and help his college raise funds for its auditorium renovation. “I was very sad to see the pictures of the auditorium. And this is a very big initiative that Satishji (Kaushik) and others have taken,” he said at the event.
Later, on his blog, Bachchan posted: “My College in [Delhi] University, Kirori Mal College, where we did our theatre also under the tutelage of Mr Frank Thakurdas, has now got together as an alumni to reinstate our College Hall, which has due to neglect withered and is now in a non-usable condition... we wish to rebuild it as a Frank Thakurdas Memorial Hall.”
We have received a great response from the alumni. Around 40 graduates were invited to the meet, and they have all promised to contribute in whatever way they can. - Dinesh Khattar
Talking about the support offered by the alumni, Dinesh Khattar, KMC principal, says, “We have received a great response from the alumni. Around 40 graduates were invited to the meet, and they have all promised to contribute in whatever way they can.” He believes that it is the duty of every former student to do something in return for his or her alma mater. “Alumni are where they are thanks to the college where they studied. So it is their duty to do whatever they can for its betterment.” KMC also organised a Hostel Alumni Meet recently.
Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), and ELSA, the Lady Shri Ram College for Women’s alumni association, also organised events recently. The SRCC Alumni Felicitation Function was attended by CK Khanna, vice-president of Delhi and District Cricket Association, and Delhi High Court judge Sanjeev Sachdeva, among others.
ELSA organised an NGO Mela to allow the alumnae to showcase their contribution to the social sector. Of those present at the event, some former students included Shivani Wazir, from the Delhi Society of the Welfare of Special Children – Special Children Needs, and Meenakshi Gopinath, political scientist, writer and a former principal of LSR.
While everything has its relevance, events like these are a chance for people to see the great work that the alumnae are doing. - Shivani Wazir
Events such as these, Wazir feels, make alumnae / alumni meets more meaningful. “While everything has its relevance, events like these are a chance for people to see the great work that the alumnae are doing — whether in the field of animal rights, supporting craftsmen, or counselling on mental health issues,” she says. “And I got to do some shopping, too!”