Saturday, November 1, 2014

United in Blood

United in run, if that was the spirit of yesterday's 'Run for Unity' (could upload a post on it here: Link), united in blood was the phrase uttered by a young blood donor in a conversation soon after the donation.

There are series of activities going on in IIT Kharagpur campus to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel in these two days (31-10-2014 and 01-11-2014, FRI and SAT). Patel Hall of Residence that is named after Sardar Patel, besides other program arranged a blood donation camp today. There was another such camp organized by NCC at Technology Students Gymkhana. The target had been to collect 150 units from Patel Hall and 100 units from Gymkhana.

I may say that I had the opportunity of attending blood donation camps organized by NSS, NCC before. This time,wanted to spend more time in Patel Hall to see how it is organized when students of an undergraduate hall takes the lead. There were other reasons too but let it be left to guess work of the readers (Hint: Some connection with this Hall and...). In the morning, attended a training program on Self-defence organized by NSO Health and Fitness team. A post on this is uploaded a short while ago here (Link).

Coming back to how the blood donation camp went, if it looked more like a festival, we can leave it to visuals. The seven part video series mostly contains the blood donation camp activities at Patel Hall. At the end, had a brief visit to NCC organized camp at Gymkhana.

Part I of the video series shows the preparatory work done since the arrival of the blood bank team. This may give a feel of the start-up activities to would-be organizers of blood donation camps.

Part II shows how it get started by following up first few donors in the queue. Their and others' interview appears in Part VII of this series.

Part III shows the donation activities going on in full swing.

Part IV shows the continuous stream of donors and their enthusiasm and spirit, making it look more like a festival.

Part V shows the blood donation camp going on in parallel at Gymkhana premises and also a short take of Professor Lt. Col. Raju who was in lead of that camp.

Part VI shows a conversation with the organizing team of Patel Hall which is followed up by wardens speaking their mind. There is an indication of what we can expect in future. Feeling great!

Part VII shows what had been the motivation of some of the donors when I could get into a conversation with them soon after their donation of blood. This series would never be complete without listening to these young hearts. It is sure to serve as motivation to those who are yet come out of their inhibition in donating blood. One cannot but be moved by the great enthusiasm and spirit shown by them and many of them had been first time donors in these camps.

Some images of the blood donation:

Finally, the smiles say it all - feel proud of them and all who came forward!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Being Taught

We can give ourselves all the excuses for not doing what we wished we would have done. And there is no dearth of excuses either. But when a student comes to us, there is no choice but to shake-off the inertia and keep aside all those excuses. By inertia, I mean - inertia of motion and NOT inertia of rest, Mind It! - in the Rajani style :-)

About 10 days back, a 3rd year UG student came to me at the end of a lecture class. Though I ask many times if anyone has any difficulty to follow and not to feel shy about it, there may be few who would prefer one-to-one discussion to clear any doubt. But this time, the attention was sought for a different reason. "Sir, many students here follow your blog or facebook postings. Could you please share one of our effort that aims to serve the society? If you do, then it will reach out to many." 

I requested him to send the material. Always wondered if what I scribble here or share in facebook are having overtones that may not be a big draw for general audience. Watching 'Two States', 'Bang-Bang' or 'Haider' does not necessarily make one contemporary or understand general psyche of today's youth. Heard from our cinema projection team that the student show of 'Haider' was more than full-house - even the stair-cases were not spared. The other occasion when I got little off-balance years back was an IEEE student symposium. In that,  at the end of my introduction that ran through my CV, there was an additional reference to me as a 'blogger.'

The adjoining facebook conversation says it all. The effort of this student group tries to come up with a database of voluntary blood donors. One can enroll oneself by filling-up this online form (KGP BloodConnect). One can also give suggestion to the young team to help them deliver better and I may add, a word of encouragement would motivate them a lot. 

In coming up with this post, found that the previous 'Teacher's Day 2014' post (Link) was remaining half-done for more than a month now. Completed it with Sept. date stamp. Without that the Sept. field would have gone empty! The month Sept. gave us opportunity to get taught by teachers where the teaching was delivered outside classroom. We had host of guest speakers at IIT Kharagpur speaking about what they learnt from life about life. The following videos may please be considered as return gifts to that section of students who teach us virtues of what we do and enhance our self-belief!! The video description describes the speaker and the occasion.

Swami Suddhidananda on 11th Sept., 2014 during Chicago Day celebration:

Prof. Ajoy K. Roy on 16th Sept., 2014 during Hijli Martyr's Day celebration: 

Director, IIT Kharagpur; Sri Chandrasekhar Ghosh, founder of Bandhan; Smt. Subhashini Mistry, founder of Humanity Hospital on 9th Sept., 2014 during Teacher's Day celebration of IITTA:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Teacher's Day 2014

Yes, it could be viewed as misfit, a gross misfit - to write a post on 25th Sept. early morning with such a title when A. R. Rahaman's composition of "Ayi Giri-Nandini Nandita-Medini Vishva-Vinodini Nandi-Nute" (Link) is played out from the sound box. No, I was not waiting for MoM to get into Mars orbit (Link) either. I simply was trying to find my little space in this vast universe!

Last Wednesday morning I woke up in time to go to field for this activity (Link). But got occupied in answering a mail that was an overnight draw. This field activity is from 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM. The replying took me past 6:00 AM. And I gave the activity a go. When the family woke up to find me on bed there was a great pandemonium. Her Highness was extremely worried, "Are you having health problem? Why didn't you go to field?" I did not tell her that I have handed over the charge this semester-beginning but kept going so that new Coordinator has an experienced person beside him till he gets settled. I tried my best to explain that health was doing fine and simply did not feel like going. Came the prompt answer, "I have seen you for long. You are not the type to stay away from duty like that. You must be concealing your health problem. Please tell us." I had no option to disclose that I was no more officially attached to this program, and thought that she would feel relieved that I could reduce one of my responsibility. But worry seemed to get larger. With unpleasantness painted all over the face she asked, "You must have taken a bigger responsibility to leave this one. Please note that it is the family who have to look after of you if you fall ill ........fg%^&vbjB..."

But we have our day - Teacher's Day, marked for us! In local South Side School, a get-together of retired teachers of nearby Govt. Schools is arranged on this day. While passing by that school, heard one teacher who retired this year crying as he won't be any more part of that atmosphere and others were trying to console him. Together with some IIT Kharagpur students attended the day's function in a village high school which was known for participation in freedom movement and the self-sufficiency targeted after the independence. Our research lab. students made us feel special like every year! A Bengali play of Rabindranath Tagore was staged by UG students at Kalidas Auditorium. And there was 2nd half lab. as usual for a Friday! Attended inaugural function of cell-filled concrete based road-making technology transfer cum training program for engineers of Uttar Pradesh arranged by Civil Engineering Dept. after the afternoon UG lab.

That was Teacher's Day 2014 - a day in a life of a person like me, living it to its full!  Certain visuals of the day follow.

Reaching out:

Inauguration of Technology Transfer cum Training Program:

The Function at Lab.:

The Function at Kalidas Auditorium: