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Mumbai Oxford society to be resurrected

india Updated: Feb 01, 2008 01:25 IST
Naomi Canton
Naomi Canton
Hindustan Times
Mumbai

The City of Dreaming Spires, where Tony Blair, Indira Gandhi, Edmund Halley and Manmohan Singh studied, is strengthening its ties with Mumbai.

The Oxford Society, Mumbai, the networking group for alumni of Oxford, has not been active for several years, but organisers will relaunch it on Friday and encourage all Mumbai alumni to join. The event will see 30 alumni living in Mumbai and who studied at the famous Ivory Towers meet at Joss restaurant for the relaunch.

Oxford University has active alumni groups in Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore but from Friday it will join other elite institutions such as Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania Wharton, which have flourishing active alumni groups in Mumbai

Secretary for the Mumbai branch Harry Cheng said: "Oxonians have always wanted to retain ties with the university and since so many Indians who studied there are now choosing to settle in India, especially in Mumbai after their studies, we felt it was time to get more active.”

The group plans to invite high profile speakers such as politicians to attend events and offer networking opportunities to its members, many of who work in diverse powerful positions across the city.

"Once people leave Oxford and enter the working world, this society will give them an environment to network and do business in and they can meet like-minded people, share experiences and learn from each other,” Cheng said.

He said plans were in the pipeline for the group to start a charity drive to raise money for underprivileged Indians to study at Oxford and also to launch an annual Oxford Society Mumbai Award for Indians who had made exceptional contributions towards Anglo-Indian relationships.

A spokesperson for the British Deputy High Commission, Mumbai, said: "We are always happy to hear of alumni associations of British universities and their activities, as they provide an excellent continuing link between UK and India.”

Expat Oxonion Patrick Von Sychowski, a technology consultant, who lives in Andheri, said: "It is tremendously encouraging that the Oxford Society is reforming in Mumbai, for Indian and expat alumni alike.

“Even in this age of on-line social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn there is still no substitute for face-to-face meetings for business as well as for fun. I hope to make new friends and business contacts, as well as reminisce about a great university experience."

To join the society, e-mail hpc@laditta.jp