An Ode To Teachers: NITRAA Solemnizes Teacher's Day Virtually
Those who educate children are more to be honored than those who produce them; for these only gave them life, those three art of living it well.
Aristotle's quote stands validated even centuries after he originally said it. Teachers are the lodestars of the ship of society. They not only guide the direction of a progressive, civilized community but also endow its members with skills to march through life. They didn't just teach us the specifics of mathematics, physics or history. They moulded us from a lump of clay into a well-made pot, instilling in us the values to become a good human being. Teachers contribute to the holistic development of a community and nation. Their hours of hard work are sadly often underpaid and underrated but nevertheless, their role of being a mentor has and always will be invaluable. As a small token of gratitude, Teacher's Day is celebrated on the 5th of September every year.
On this special occasion, National Institute Of Technology Rourkela Alumni Association (NITRAA) had organized a virtual meeting to celebrate the day. The Director of NIT Rourkela, Prof Animesh Biswas, Dean Academics, Prof Saroj Kumar Patel, Dean Faculty Welfare, Susmita Das, Dean Alumni Affairs, Prof Abanti Sahoo were all a part of the virtual gathering. Notable alumni like Mr C.P. Gurnani, Deepa Kapil, Mr Arun K Rath, Mr Uday Patel, Mr Sandip Das were all part of the celebration too. From college stories that took everyone on a trip of nostalgia to the launch of the anticipated Mentorship Programme, the celebration was certainly an eventful one.
DIRECT FROM THE DESK
“Ya kundendu tushara haara dhavala, ya shubhra vastravrita
Ya veena vara danda mandithakara, ya shwetha padmaasana
Ya brahmachyuthaha shankara prabrithibhi devai, sada poojitha
Samaam paatu saraswathi bhagavathi, nihshesha Jaddyapaha.”
This enchanting harmony of Saraswati Vandana marked the beginning of the virtual Teacher's Day celebration.
Deepa Kapil, Vice President of the National Institute of Technology Rourkela Alumni Association (NITRAA) hosted the virtual Teacher's Day commemoration on Cisco Webex. She welcomed distinguished Alumni and students to the occasion and expressed her gratitude to the alma mater's professors.
Following this, Mr Arun Kumar Rath, President, NITRAA, delivered his welcome speech. On his first note, he stated the importance of the September month, as it starts with the Teacher's Day, passes through the Hindi Diwas, Engineer's Day, and worshipping of the divine Engineer, Lord Vishwakarma! Adding to the above points, he remarked September to be a month for Engineers and Educationists. He remembered Bharat Ratna Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India, for contributing 20 years towards the teaching profession by highlighting his three quotes. Eventually, he mentioned the alumni-alma mater relations.
In his words:
An alumni is a student first! The alumni have to look back to their institute in gratitude and respect and find opportunities to add values so that the cycle of growth continues. The alumni community is grateful to the Director and faculty for becoming a part of the great ecosystem. I am personally obliged to my teachers, who shaped my career and the teachers who continued to churn out jewels. These teachers are participating in our nation's progress and staying at the frontier of technologies across the world! The alumni community will work as an umbrella and a lamp to enlighten every student's path, both at their current status and in the time when they step out to the real world.
Adding to his beautiful words, an audio clip of Padmashree N R Mohanty, alumni of the first pioneer batch of 1965 was played. He became nostalgic by remembering his college days from 1961-1965. He expressed them as the best 4 years of his life.
In his words:
I bow before Professor Bhubaneswar Behera and all other professors of my time with a sense of gratitude. Whenever we are in a trouble, we remember god to seek his help. We know God is invisible but we have two visible Gods- our parents and our teachers. Their help and blessings are needed to tackle any obstacle. Please don’t forget them, don’t neglect them. I thank all of you with my love and regards.
On 1st January, 2018 Team Monday Morning had got an opportunity to interact with Padmashree N R Mohanty.
Click here to know more about this eminent personality.
Next in the queue, Mr. Damodar Acharya, Batch of 1970, greeted the whole gathering by quoting a Sanskrit sloka. He stated that NIT Rourkela is privileged to have the best teachers to teach, mentor and guide students.
In his words:
If I remind you my friends, back in those days neither we had many books nor the access to internet or computers! The only source of knowledge were our teachers. Their words and guidance were the Bible for us therefore I am grateful to my teachers for shaping us into what we are today. We, the alumni are the brand ambassador of the institution, bearing the responsibility to make it the best in the world.
Following this, Mr Sandip Das, batch of 1978, applauded everyone for arranging such a beautiful meeting amidst this COVID-19 pandemic. He remembered all the professors who sowed the seeds of education in him. He felt an immense sense of gratitude for such five years he spent from 1973 to 1978. He added that NIT Rourkela has produced a bunch of Engineers, Political Leaders, Bureaucrats, Corporate Hunches, Academicians, Philanthropists, etc, who are excelling in their respective fields.
In his words:
The job of a teacher is not to teach, but to ask the right questions! The most important part of teaching is to impart knowledge. The five years in Rourkela taught us the importance of being human. Students come and students go, but the faculty stays there for longer duration. Today, despite being older I touch the feet of all the professors to seek your blessings. The alumni are unconditionally and selflessly committed to make this a greater institution in near future.
Along with these distinguished alumni, Mr C.P. Gurnani, batch of 1981, currently serving as the CEO of Tech Mahindra addressed the meeting with his valuable words. He considered parents as the first teachers of everyone.
A sense of nostalgia ran through him as he remembered his REC days. He complimented Professor Animesh Biswas and the current faculty of NIT Rourkela for coping up with transitions from a conventional classroom method to digital education.
With his completion, Mr Dillip Patel addressed the meeting by expressing his deep gratitude to the alma mater which was followed by Professor Abanti Sahoo (Dean Alumni Affair), Professor Saroj Kumar Patel (Dean Academics) and Professor Sushmita Das (Dean Faculty Welfare).
Along with this live interaction session, some recorded video clips received from various distinguished alumni was played. Those videos inherited messages of alumni from all around the globe! All of them showed gratitude and paid homage to their alma mater. Here are the alumni who conveyed their feeling through recorded video clips.
- Mr Manas Panda, Batch of 1992.
- Mr. Arun Mohanty, Batch of 1978.
- Mrs. Swarna, Batch of 2005.
- Mr Ravindra Tulsyan, Batch of 1980.
- Mr John M, Batch of 1983
- Mr Subhendu Acharya, Batch of 1981.
- Mr. Pradipta, Batch of 1990.
- Mr Sundar, Batch of 1983.
- Mr Indranil, Batch of 1990.
- Mr T.V.R Murthy, Batch of 1983.
- Mr. Vijay GK, Batch of 1983
- Mr. Anirban Mukerji, Batch of 1990.
- Mr. Denis, Batch of 1983.
- Mr Pradeep Lenka, Batch of 1977.
- Mr A Viswanathan, Batch of 1981.
- Mr Yadvendra, Batch of 1983.
- Mr Prabodh Padhee, Batch of 1980.
- Mr Sandip Samantray, Batch of 2004.
- Mrs. Manjula Mazumdar, Batch of 1981.
- Rear Admiral Sanjiv Luktuke, Batch of 1977.
- Mr Prasant Kumar Tripathy, Batch of 1983.
- Mr Jadumani Mani, Batch of 1978.
- Mr. Sampat Gonalia, Batch of 2020.
- Mr. Debasis Roy, Batch of 1981.
- Mr. Rahul Srivastava, Batch of 1999.
Mr Asutosh Nayak (class of 2010) started off the mentorship program by quoting Lauren Morris-
If you don't know where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.
He mentioned that they had already been testing the program for a month to a great feedback where the experienced alumni acted as the mentors and the alumni who have passed out recently acted as the mentees. Director Professor Animesh Biswas inaugurated the program after which a sand art video created by International sand artist Bulu Mohanty based on this program was shown.
After these events, Abhisek Pramanik, one of the student members of the Core Team, listed out the steps to get oneself registered for the program. The steps are
1. Go to the NITRAA official site by using the link https://www.nitraa.org/
2. Click on The Student Mentorship Program under the "Alumni Assist" section following which a pdf file will be opened.
3. Click on the "Mentee" hyperlink in the pdf following which you will be directed to an enrolment form to fill.
4. Fill and submit the form after which you will be approached by the mentorship core team via email.
Professor Animesh Biswas then addressed the virtual gathering speaking on how the teaching job was a very noble one but was extremely tough to master. He also spoke about how tough the transition from classroom learning to digital learning has been so far.
In his words
Teaching is a noble profession. However if a teacher really wants to contribute then teaching can be very exhausting. In recent times the learning process has completely changed due to the pandemic. The transition has been very tough indeed. Our students are from various parts of India. Some of these areas have no network or very poor coverage. Some areas are flooded. So there have been a lot of problems, but we are trying our best to cope up with the scenario no matter how tough it is and imparting knowledge has not stopped. It is due to this spirit that teachers must always be respected.
After this address, Shri BB Mohanty from the class of 1969 addressed the meeting and expressed his undying gratitude to his teachers and professor Late Bhubaneshwar Behera in particular whose teaching and affection made sure every student felt right at home in the institute.
In the final address of the evening, Mr Uday Patel expressed his love and respect for all the teachers in his life. He also spoke very fondly of his college days and thanked everyone for being a part of the celebration.
In his words-
The effects of good teaching are clearly visible in the growth of a nation. Before it was a national institute, REC Rourkela had students coming in from different states in proportion to the population of each student. As a result of this, there was a mixture of varying cultures and mindsets. It must have been a tough thing for the teachers to get everyone of us into shape. It is a result of their valuable inputs that the alumni of NIT Rourkela are at the forefront of every key industry of the country. We will always be ready to help our institute whenever the need be. Thank you for all joining.
The celebration concluded with a vote of thanks from Swadha.
The celebration organized by the NITRAA was the first of its kind but we hope to see more such events materializing in the near future. These events could certainly a long way in strengthening the distant bond that exists between the Alumni and their alma mater.
As far as the mentorship program is considered, this could be exactly what the doctor ordered. A professional newbie would certainly require the advice of experienced personnel to be able to grow further and become efficient in this cut-throat world. The procedure for applying is very simple as well. One can hope to see heavy participation from the student side given the current nature of the industry.
Team Monday Morning wishes NITRAA great success for their future endeavours.