Keeping the memories of Bapu Alive : 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations

Keeping the memories of Bapu Alive : 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever 

 

These inspiring words of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who is fondly called Bapu or ‘Father of Our Nation’, prove the sayings of Sir Henry Wadsworth that  "Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time."

One of the greatest men in the history of India is inarguably Mahatma Gandhi. The way he gave shape and character to India's freedom struggle through non-violent methods, without the use of arms and ammunition led to the creation of an Independent India, free from the shackles of British rule.

To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Student Activity Centre of NIT, Rourkela organized a weeklong event. The weeklong event consisted of activities like Essay, Debate, Painting and Quiz competition. A schedule was earlier released notifying the details of the events that would follow the entire week. Accordingly, the inauguration ceremony began on 2nd October at 6.30 pm in BBA. Owing to a thin audience, the event was delayed by half an hour. It commenced at around 7 pm, with Sayed Munib Ahmad, Smruti Sudha Biswal, Muskaan Singhania and Ajinth Jain serving as the hosts of the evening. The event was presided over by the dignitaries who included honourable Director Prof. Animesh Biswas, Dean Student Welfare Prof. Simanchal Panigrahi, and Vice President Literary Society Prof. Rohan Dhiman, SAC president Prof. Snehashish Chakraverty, SAS Officer Nalini Nihar Nayak, Vice-president Arts and Culture Society Prof. SN Alam. The Chief Guest of the evening was Prof. Prabhat Kumar Mallick, a renowned Historian. He presented a narrative about the Gandhian Philosophy and how it has lost its essence in the present world, also offering exclusive solutions to revive the very nature of Gandhism or Gandhian Philosophy.

Dean Student Welfare Prof.Simanchal Panigrahi gave a brief introduction about the Chief Guest Prof. Mallick. He was later felicitated by the Director. SAC President Prof. Snehasish Chakraverty offered the vote of thanks. There was a short-time tea break followed by the vote of thanks. The evening was then wrapped up by some heart throbbing performances by Heartbeats-the official music club of NITR like Vaishnav jana toh, Raghupati Raghav among others. It left the audience in absolute awe and rendered the evening delightfully melodious.

Painting Competition

A painting competition was organized on 2nd October to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi at SAC practice hall. This marked the beginning of the week-long celebration that was to take place from 2nd to 9th October.

Around 20 students from different age groups had gathered to showcase their talents by drawing a portrait of Gandhiji. The motive behind organizing the competition was to teach students about the life of Mahatma Gandhi and what inspiration they can draw from it.

Prof. Rohan Dhiman, Vice-President, Literary Society had this to say-

We are very happy to organize such competitions for the students on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. We hope that the students get inspired by learning about the life of the father of our nation. We expected a greater turn up from the NITR students for which we had kept them in a separate group. But we are happy to see the tiny tots show such interest and take part in the competition.

The paintings would be evaluated by a set of judges and the winners would be awarded on 9th October.

Essay Competition

There was an essay competition on 3rd October at LA 101 organized as a part of this week-long event. There were 3 groups on the basis of students from different classes. Group 1 consisted of students from Class 1 to Class 5. Group 2 consisted of students from Class 6 to class 12. Group 3 consisted of NIT students.

Topics were as follows:

1. Primary Group: My love and respect for Mahatma Gandhi
2. Secondary Group: Gandhian Thoughts: with special reference to education, untouchability, caste hierarchy and women empowerment.
3. Higher Group: Gandhian Philosophy and Ethos: with special reference to non-violence for liberation, religion and eradication of alcohol consumption.

7 students each from Group 1 and 2 attended the competition and 15 students from Group 3 turned up for the Essay Writing competition. The event was well organized in the presence of Dean SW, VP Literary Society, VP Arts and culture society. Refreshments were given. It was overwhelming to see tiny tots coming up for the competition and penning down their thoughts and ideas. The duration of the essay writing was 1hr which lasted from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm. There was no word limit. It was the form of expressing one’s greater views and opinions on a common platform.

Debate Competition

There was a debate competition on 4th October in BBA organized as a part of this week-long event. There were 3 groups on the basis of students from different classes. Group 1 consisted of students from Class 1 to Class 5. Group 2 consisted of students from Class 6 to class 12. Group 3 consisted of NIT students.

The topics for the debate competition are:
1. Primary Level: Role of Mahatma Gandhi for Indian freedom struggle against the British.
2. Secondary Level: Do India need second Gandhi in flesh and blood?
3. Higher Level: Vision of Mahatma Gandhi for India versus Modern India: How far and how close?

7 students turned up from Group 1 while 20 students from Group 3 turned up for the debate competition. The event was well organized in the presence of Dean SW Prof Simanchal Panigrahi. VP Literary Society, VP Arts and Culture Society, SAS 0fficer Nihar Nalini Nayak, SAC President Prof, Snehasish Chakravorty. The esteemed panel of judges consisted of Prof, Rajiv Panda from the School of Management, Prof. Ramakrishna Biswal and Prof. Seemita Mohanty from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, for students of Group 1 while Group 3 students were judged by Prof. Rajiv Panda, Prof, Ramakrishna Biswal and Madam Smrutisikha Bal, Senior Scientific Officer from the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering. The competition saw some voracious speakers adorning the platform with their thoughtful and out-of-the-box ideas. Results have been awaited. Winners would be awarded in a valedictory ceremony to be held on 9th October.

Quiz competition

There was a quiz competition on 7th October at LA-117 organized as a part of this week-long event. There were 3 groups on the basis of students from different classes. Group 1 consisted of students from Class 1 to Class 5. Group 2 consisted of students from Class 6 to class 12. Group 3 consisted of NIT students.

7 students from Group 1, 14 students from Group 2 and 22 students from Group 3 turned up for the quiz competition. The questionnaire consisted a set of 30 questions pertaining to his life-history and achievements, for which an hour was allotted. The questions were thought-provoking and intriguing. The footfall was highly appreciated, 

On being asked about this noble venture, Prof, Simanchal Panigrahi, Dean SW speaks,

This time the events were not publicised on a larger scale. From next year onwards, we will go an extra mile to ensure that the events are publicized throughout the length and breadths of the institution and beyond; so that we witness a bigger footfall in all the events.

Movie screening

In order to instill a sheer sense of patriotism and make the students aware of his ideologies, the movie Gandhi was screened at BBA on 6th October at 5.30 pm. The movie portrayed the life history of Mahatma Gandhi along with it his achievements and struggle that led to the liberation of the Indian subcontinent from the British rule. It was attended by around 20 students.No entry fees were charged. Tickets were distributed on the basis of first come first serve basis. 

The valedictory function is scheduled to take place on 9th  October at BBA where the winners of the above-organized competitions will be awarded.

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