"This is not a Sports Institute": Vriddhi 2019
ESTABLISHING A SPORTIVE REGIME
National Institute of Technology, Rourkela hosted the third edition of its annual sports fest, Vriddhi, this weekend from 8 November 2019- 10 November 2019. The sports fiesta that arrived much earlier this year than it should have been, had got a lot of glorious tales recorded in its playlist to be sung loud and clear in the days to follow. There were victories, there were failures, there was happiness, at the same time there was despondency, but what remained unshattered was the spirit of sportsmanship and brotherhood. The event manifested to be a major assessment to the entire Vriddhi team to conduct and transform such a mammoth extravaganza ultimately to a grand success. In addition to adorning an array of trailblazing sports events, with few shortcomings on the platter, it was unsuccessful to some extent in standing up to people’s satisfaction in some of the notable aspects.
Team Monday Morning had a constructive discussion session with the convenors of Vriddh’19, namely, Samarth Mohanty (Elected), Gummadi Govardhan (Elected) and Supreet Mohanty (Dean nominated) about the BTS of planning and working of the team. The purpose of this analysis is to cast light on the efforts of the team in managing this grand event and to find areas with scope for improvement in upcoming editions.
HEARING IT OUT FROM THE STAKEHOLDERS
Vriddhi came and left, leaving a tinge of an indelible imprint of what it had in its bucket list. The third edition was the brain-child of convenors under whose supervision, this mammoth task was possible to implement in the first place. Before diving deep into the nitty-gritty of the fest, it was essential to know the convenor’s point of view in organising the fest.
Samarth Mohanty added,
We are fairly happy on how the fest went on. We failed to implement some ideas that we had planned earlier. But overall it was a good fest, to be described in a word.
Following his point of views, Supreet Mohanty uttered
This edition was the best among all the editions happened so far. We weren’t able to execute certain important things because of the time constraint. I hope that it would turn out to be much better in the upcoming years.
Gummadi Goverdhan also added the following,
It was well planned and we did a very nice job. We witnessed a significant increase in participation as compared to the previous two editions.
CLIMBING UP THE HIERARCHICAL LADDER
The induction for the Vriddhi team was called upon as soon as the SAC elections got over. A Google form was circulated where they had to fill up the necessary details for getting into the core team or to work as managers. The convenors, the secretaries and the mentors conducted the interview and inducted the final set of applicants into the Vriddhi team. The exact structural hierarchy included the Convenors being the torchbearers, followed by the core team members, managers and then the volunteers. There was a significant contribution by the elected and nominated secretaries of the Games and Sports Society of SAC as well. There wasn’t any coordinator post assigned instead all the second years were given the posts of managers considering their interests.
Vriddhi’19 also housed an array of teams to look after various internal and external affairs of the fest. There was a pre-fest team that included the offline and online publicity team, technical, design, and content. Apart from that, a significant number of people formed the Games Management team that ensured the proper functioning of every event at the time of fest, a team to look after the guest hospitality, requirements team and the team looking after the accommodation of the participating players. The question arises that, “Though the teams were many, why didn’t the fest go on in the way it was expected to be?” “Weren’t the teams efficient enough to manage the work systematically on time?” The answers to these intriguing questions would be answered in the text that follows.
The working team of Vriddhi included;
CH. NAVEEN KUMAR
G. SHIVA KRISHNA
CH. TEJA PRADHAN
B. VINOD KUMAR
GUEST AND HOSPITALITY
N. YASHWANTH REDDY
K. VINEET SAI
CULTURAL AND EXTRA-CURRICULARS
AMRIT KUMAR JENA
The first phase of preparation included the overall budget distribution and various other paperwork that had started immediately after the elections. About the speculations regarding the incoherence between the Dean’s Nominated convenor and Elected convenors owing to the fact that the selection of Dean’s nominee was done many days after the SAC election, which could have been a potential shortcoming, the convenors clarified by adding the following;
The gap between SAC election and Dean’s nominee selection wasn’t that long. Even, it isn’t at all necessary that a particular process can’t go forward in the absence of Dean’s nominee. There were so many works that could have been done later after the selection as well. Few aspects that take significant time like e-procurement and placing of the tender were started much earlier. The papers were ready but they were yet to be submitted for approval.
ACCOMMODATION AND HOSPITALITY
There was no provision for paying through the website as the third party that they used charged 3-4% taxes and the teams complained about it so there was a spot registration for a few who hadn’t paid earlier. Instead, the teams were provided with the SAC bank account details to pay the requisite amount, which sounds very inefficient and time-consuming for a large number of teams.
There were some complaints regarding the quality and hygienic conditions of food. People complained that the same food given for lunch was reheated and served for dinner. The living conditions seem to be very dire with all of them staying in the common room of SD Hall of residence.
The convenors had the following to say about the issue at hand:
We had a set menu for everyday. I don’t think that happened. There were no provisions for health-concious food. They were being provided bananas and eggs for proteins but apart from that, nothing else. It was hygienic but the people threw food near stalls and there were stray dogs there. In NITR, we see stray dogs everywhere and it’s a problem which the college needs to tackle. The place where the food was made was hygienic and had no intrusion of dogs. For the accommodation tender, around 70 tanks of mineral water were provided. The S.D hall’s common room was enough to accommodate around 400 people. The accommodation volunteers helped a lot during that time.
No money for a sports fest?
The budget has been the prime cause of any inefficiency found in any fest. Whatever the situation may be, when asked about the reason behind any kind of mismanagement, unavailability of a particular facility at the right point of time, etc, everybody ultimately, points out the budget to be the sole accountable cause.
In the words of Samarth Mohanty,
In our current budget, we can’t support huge participation. The present participation even demanded for an additional budget. Unless and until Vriddhi’s budget is increased in the coming years, the participation number can’t increase.
The sanctioned budget for Vriddhi’19 was 8 lakhs INR. The money received from registration was used up in providing food and accommodation to the participants. The team didn’t even use the previous year’s budget. Following that, the convenors added,
We didn’t use the previous year’s budget. We didn’t know about it. Moreover, we didn’t get any news if we could use that or not.
It was a bit contradictory to the initial statement recorded by the convenors as the convenors later added that the authority had asked them to use the last year’s unspent money if they faced any kind of insufficiency, though they were initially unaware about this fact of using last year’s unspent amount.
Making their stances clear about their ability to manage the fest with an insufficient budget, the convenors added,
The budget sanctioned for this edition was sufficient for what we have delivered till now. What you all saw, was done within that limited budget. We had to cut down the participating teams from each college to eight because of this. We are glad that we were able to render such a great fest within these financial constraints.
Below cited is the table that gives the estimate of the amount spent on various aspects of the fest;
Guest House Booking (For Visiting officials from different college/institute)
800x10 rooms x4 days
1400 x 5 rooms x 4 days
600 x 12
Sound and Light
Tent, Gate, Table, Chairs, etc.
50 x 500=25000
Mementoes (No mementoes to be given to those who take remuneration)
Coaches, team managers 50 x 500=25000
Printing of Banners, Invitation Cards, Posters and Information Bulletin
Printing of certificates for participants and volunteers
Certificates- 10 x1000 nos.
Medals for Winners
280 x 80 sets
2065 x 12
Intra NIT Sports Futsal, Sports Quiz, Musical Night, etc.
Remuneration of tournament officials
Cricket- 500 x 4 official x 15 matches=30000
Football- 500 x 5 official x 15 matches= 37500
Volleyball- 500 x 4 official x 15 matches= 30000
Basketball- 500 x 4 official x 15 matches= 30000
Kabaddi- 500 x 5 official x 15 matches= 37500
Badminton- 1000 x 4 official x 3 days= 12000
Ground Preparation with labor charges
Equipment (Sports Items)
Opening and Closing ceremony
Food and Refreshments for officials and volunteers
100 x 250= 25,000
(8 Lakhs approx.)
8, 00,000 (approx.)
N.B. Accommodation (mattress, pillow & bedsheet) and Food for the participant will be met from the registration fee collected from the participant this year and the previous financial year.
This edition got two sponsors in hand; SBI Yono and Purple Turtle, a pre-school chain, summing the total sponsorship amount to 30000 INR. But that amount that could have been used up as prize money, couldn’t be used as such, as the team didn’t get approval for that.
Supreet, Arman and I visited a few companies in Bhubaneswar in search of sponsorship. We were in touch with the AGM, SBI but didn’t receive any thumbs up at the very moment. But lately, we got the proposal of sponsorship just at the eleventh hour.
Samarth Mohanty, Convenor
GROUND MANAGEMENT AND EQUIPMENT
Managing the ground, though an industrious task, can’t be neglected at any cost. The same goes for the equipment as well. This edition recorded numerous complaints pertaining to these aspects;
During Innovision, everyone littered the football field. No one gave any thoughts about it after that. Even after the events, it was only us who had to pick them up from the field.
Prashant Sharma, Football Captain
The convenors answered the following;
After Innovision, the sets near the DTS was taken off by Wednesday. I (Govardhan) personally had a check on this. After that, we had to look after the volleyball and basketball court’s renovation as well. The football team had to start their preparation for Vriddhi immediately after Innovision. It was during the time when the sets of proshows were loaded back on the truck, the field got littered. As a consequence, the team had to do it by themselves.
The main problem was regarding the nylon shuttle being provided at first instead of feather shuttle, as a result, the matches got significantly delayed.
Ashish Kumar Singh, Badminton Captain
The convenors added;
Feather shuttles are expensive and they can’t sustain for a longer duration of time. Whereas, nylon shuttles of good quality come cheap and can be used for frequent successive matches. That was what we had in plan to implement during the matches and even nobody had any issue initially. Later, when this thing came to Dean’s notice, that too without our knowledge, we contacted Prof. S.K. Patel and ultimately this issue was resolved.
On a general note, there seemed to be a communication barrier between the convenors and the captains. Addressing this matter, the convenors added,
We had made a separate WhatsApp group consisting team captains from outside colleges as well the captains of our institute teams. The issue pertaining to the badminton team could have been easily resolved among ourselves without stretching it to such an extent if the concerned captain would have approached the convenors. We also had a Vriddhi Captains only group consisting our institute captains only, where the other teams were cooperating with us for inviting other outside teams. But we didn’t receive any such kind of coordination from the Badminton team.
A major potential cause serving for the degradation of matches was the deterioration of the ground because of continuous matches which were played again and again over a single court. It wasn’t at all surprising to discover this, as NIT Rourkela fosters multiple spare courts adjacent to the main courts that could have been used after a match was conducted on the main ground. The convenors stated the reason following this,
We had got limited referees. So it wasn’t practically possible to have multiple matches being played at different courts simultaneously. Moreover, the maintenance work was done for only one court for each of the sports event since the other spare courts/grounds were due for renovation for the upcoming Inter-NIT matches to be held in January. The courts that were already in use were sufficient enough to accommodate the number of events that we had under schedule. We also had a set amount of budget for maintenance. If we had opted for more number of arenas, it would have definitely cost us more.
One of the aspects that were truly a subject of appreciation was the proper distribution of volunteers among various events to cater to the needs of the participants. The contact numbers of the managers were also provided to the captains of every team of every college. There were around 60-70 volunteers assigned for an array of tasks. There were around eleven volunteers alloted for cricket, twelve for football, three for badminton, five for kabaddi, six for basketball, five for volleyball, 12-15 for accommodation and around 3-4 for registration.
Lack of fencing around the courts was one of the problematic factors causing a lot of inconvenience to players as well as the officials. The convenors addressed the following problem as;
We didn’t include fencing in our ground management work. Initially, we didn’t find it to be a potential problem causing inconvenience.
BLEAK AND BARREN FIESTA
With next to no publicity and a staggeringly in-active social media handle on Facebook, it seemed that Vriddhi came and went without a trace. While looking for ‘Vriddhi’ on any search engine, it’s disappointing to see that the official website for the fest is not the first recommendation which pops up. With a pretty basic interface and only minimal information given about the fest, the site looks barren and more like a dummy website. Barely any posters were shared prior to the fest and no traction was gained in the students, leading to a poor turnout in most of the events.
N K. Vissa, the VP of Games and Sports Society, has hopes that the fest will rise in the coming years. On comparing sports fest of different colleges with that of Vriddhi, he had the following to say:
It’s just the third edition of Vriddhi. IIT-BHU has a higher budget than our college and they charged more registration fees from the participants. It’s only the third edition of Vriddhi and some day, we’ll receive a higher stature.
The fest failed to mobilise the audience from the host college itself. Most matches had a disappointing crowd unlike the shows in Innovision which garnered a pretty good response. It could be accounted to sharing the details of the events on every possible social media handle.
The convenors response to this:
We posted the status of every match but apart from that we didn’t do much to publicise the matches. We tried to invite people for the cultural night but the turnout was very disappointing. We can’t force others to come and watch but some sports did gain attention like Kabaddi and Volleyball.
The official Facebook page remains dormant for the better part of the year and has managed to scare up about 600 likes over a period of three years. Taking place when end-sems are around the corner doesn’t help either as students who are not a part of the sports teams will be busy with their academics. Scheduled in the weekend just after Innovision seems to be the crux of the biscuit. With everyone pumped for Innovision, the sports fest of the college took a back-seat in terms of participation and anticipation.
We had two people working in our design team. We could have selected more but we needed the posters to be up to the mark and of better quality. Other than the posters, the design members were busy in designing certificates and other such things so the work load was a lot for them. It’s the sad truth that all the design members and technical members are more interested to work for Innovision.
The same story repeats for the technical nitty-gritty of the fest too.
We faced a problem with the website as most of the people were interested to work in the technical team of Innovision and Vriddhi was the next weekend after it. We found very few talented people who were genuinely interested for Vriddhi. That’s the main issue.
The close proximity of Innovision and exams might just be the reason the fest got overshadowed and with no participation from the sister NITs and other local colleges.
Speaking about how they gave official invites to other colleges and why many of them backed out last minute, the convenors said:
The publicity team was responsible for getting in contact with other colleges. Some teams cancelled at the last moment otherwise the participation was pretty well. Initially around 18 colleges had given confirmation but only 12 of them showed up as some of them had exams. Besides, there was some other sports fests going on in other colleges simultaneously due to which the colleges only sent a few of their sports teams for Vriddhi and the rest to the other fests. NIFT had sent their Kabaddi team as it’s rare for a Kabaddi competition of a good stature to occur. NITs and IITs were reluctant to come for the very same reason and only NIT Jamshedpur’s basketball team turned up for the fest. We could have got more participation from private colleges provided we had more time for publicity.
Usually, while fests invite as many teams and colleges as they can, Vriddhi is a sports fest of an unusual kind which allowed only a maximum of 8 teams to play for every sport.
In our current budget, we can’t have a big team. Until and unless the budget is increased, the participation cannot increase. We take Rs. 600 from the students and it covers their food and accommodation. In 8 lakhs, we cannot accommodate more members and we need additional budget to make our team bigger. We had a participation of 440 students from outside and with the budget we have, we cannot accommodate more. We couldn’t spend the unspent amount from the last edition of Vriddhi as we’re only allowed to use this academic year’s budget. We could have utilised it had there been an emergency. We’re happy that we’ve managed to make it happen with such a small budget.
Prof S K Patel replied to this query:
This is not a sports institute. We cannot accomodate more than 8 teams for every sport in such a short amount of time.
The working of the teams cannot be called the most efficient as there was no disclosure of the final list of the participants on the website.
To this complaint, the convenors responded:
The fixtures and official list were not updated in the website as we got it finalised last minute and there was no time. Number of matches that you can play in 3 days is limited. We cannot accommodate more than 8 teams per sport as time will not permit. There were a few local colleges who approached us the last minute after the quota of 8 teams was over and we had to refuse their admission into the fest.
Calling guests of imminent importance in sports would have helped ten-fold in garnering attention. Vriddhi neither had any special guests nor did the students get a leave for its inauguration, which they did get for Innovision.
We wanted to call for Amulya Nanda Bihari, coach for the Indian hockey team but it didn’t get approved by the SAC. The authorities denied us as the sports personalities charge some amount and we have limited budget.
Prof S K Patel replied to it:
They demanded a large amount of money and some of them were busy in their schedule.
N K. Vissa, VP, Games and Sports Society had the following to say about the lack of sportspersons as guests in Vriddhi when there were numerous guest lectures for Innovision:
I don’t think Innovision and Vriddhi should be compared as Innovision has a bigger budget. BPUT and other such state colleges have a better name in sports than our college and we couldn’t call chief guests as there’s a constraint on time and budget.
Samir Ari, the VP of Games and Sports Society, had the following to say about the issue at hand:
Innovision, Nitrutsav and Vriddhi come under different societies. Innovision has one or two major events whereas Vriddhi has many sports events which only sports enthusiasts or people who excel in sports enjoy.
Levying a certain amount of money as a security deposit a.k.a. Caution Money, from the participants, has grown to be a general trend in every other sports fest conducted across the nation. This parameter serves an important purpose on behalf of the organising team, where the team makes a prior agreement with the participants/visitors, stating that the organisers have the full right not to refund that amount if the participants cause any kind of damage to the organisation’s property.
This time an amount of 100 INR was levied from the each of the participants as caution money. The purpose this amount served was the only one that has been mentioned above. Following this fact, a complaint was received from students of VSSUT, Burla regarding the use of that caution money for the treatment of one of their teammates who got seriously injured during play and later got admitted to a nearby hospital.
The convenors put forth their views in the following way,
We understand what would be the things going around at that particular instant of time among the teammates as one of their friends was injured. But the caution money that they were demanding was not meant for that purpose. Its sole utility was to be used as a compensation for any kind of institutional damage incurred by any participant during the fest. However, we provided all the necessary assistance like first aid, ambulance service and that matter got resolved soon.
T.R. Pattanaik, the present Student Activity and Sports (SAS) Officer, expressed,
Perhaps the situation worsened as that team from VSSUT was demanding for the caution fee that wasn’t refunded back to them after the 1st edition of Vriddhi. They were asking for the total treatment of that injured person, but it was strictly made that the payment had to be done from their own pocket itself, not from NIT’s pocket. But we were ready to bear all the overhead expenses incurred ultimately. Finally, they gave an undertaking and everything was resolved.
PLAY LIKE A GIRL
With NIT Rourkela housing a variety of sports like swimming, table tennis, athletics, etc, it was disappointing to see only six of them participate in the fest. It owed to reasons more than the obvious money and time constraints: unenthusiastic participation from girls teams.
Prof. N K Vissa shed light on it:
We had nil participation from girls teams of colleges from outside. Last year, we invited girls teams but we didn’t get any response.
Elaborating more on it, Prof. Samir Ari said:
It’s disheartening to see no participation from girls. We tried to promote female participation. It is one of the main reasons due to which most of the college sports teams couldn’t take part.
Prof S K Patel shared the same views:
I don’t have any objections in having more than 6 sports. We do not support any type of gender bias. I was personally disheartened for zero girl participation.
T.R. Pattanaik expressed his opinions as,
Perhaps the convenors didn’t send any form of invitation, specifically mentioning about the participation of females. This is the same case as that of last year’s where there was a ‘nil’ female participation. In this fest, we are focussing on some of the major sports events and I don’t think there is any girl’s team from Odisha associated with those sports who could attend Vriddhi.
NO PROVISIONS FOR B TEAMS?
While examining the concept behind the B team, the football captain expressed:
From the beginning of this semester, I was adamantly clear that we would be playing B team in football since we have a lot of participation throughout the year and yet I had to go at least thrice in a week for an update on that. The B team was allowed to play only on the eve of Vriddhi itself. Since we had a lot of players coming to the field, roughly around 50 everyday, we had planned on playing 32 players in the Vriddhi this year too, like previous year only.16 players in each team. They didn’t allow us to play the B team until the very eve of the tournament. We had to go and meet them the people in administration and Games and Sports Society almost every day, in our practice time itself, and try convincing them because they thought that we will use up more food coupons, and it will be an unfair competition for the teams coming from outside.
Prashant Sharma, the football captain.
To this, the convenors responded:
We were ready to increase the budget to accommodate a B Team too but at the last moment Prof. S K Patel told us that none of the institute teams will get food coupons. This B team was introduced one day before the fest. Some of the team captains went to him and they came to an agreement that if the B teams are allowed to play then they won’t take food coupons. Some team captains didn’t agree with this decision. We were about to push for an increase in budget but before that, Prof S K Patel told us that insti teams won’t be given coupons.
One of the major aspects that garner larger attention as well as participation in any competition or event is the prize money promised for it. Fixing a certain amount of money to be rewarded to the winners could have added up to the merit of receiving a handsome footfall in this fest. However, there wasn’t any provision made as such. Addressing this, the convenors added,
Initially we had planned for prize money and proposed to authorities as well. Unfortunately, we were denied permission. We were allowed to include only certificates, medals and trophies in our budget list.
Speaking about the role of the administration in the fest, the convenors replied:
They were quite supportive but there were disagreements like we weren’t allowed to give prize money to the winners but we’d like to thank them for helping us arrange this fest.
Prof N K Vissa has visionary plans for the fest and the sports scenario of NIT Rourkela. Shedding light on it, he said:
We’re going to arrange for permanent coaches and the plans need approval from the Registrar. There are also talks about a sports complex being built in the future. We only have one sports officer and it’s very difficult to arrange a big sports fest. Once the sports complex is built, it’ll solve many issues.
A better comeback for Vriddhi next year doesn’t seem feasible since the chances seem dim if the fest is not scheduled for a better time of the academic year.
Team MM hopes for a better Vriddhi next year and congratulates all the winners and participants in the fest. Team MM also congratulates Mr. T R Pattnaik, Prof Samir Ari, Prof N K Vissa and the convenors for making Vriddhi a grander success than the last two editions.