Concept of Textile Alumni Association – West Bengal, Ahemedabad

The concept of Alumni associations is more than a century old. Harvard University and quite a few others in US and UK, in fact established their Alumni association much prior to a century. Such associations were formed by the graduates or more broadly by former students. These associations exist to support the parent organization’s goals and to strengthen the ties between alumni, the community and the parent organization. In a nutshell, this is a common platform where old boys can interact to look at the past – discuss the present and debate the future. Introspection takes place when alumni meet and exchange thoughts.

Textile Alumni Association-West Bengal was formally established in 1977 in Ahmedabad and perhaps the only one globally that represent three well known textile education institutes together namely College of Textile Technology, Serampore and Behrampore currently re-named as Government College of Engineering and Textile Technology and Institute of Jute technology.

The cultural background and origin of some alumni but from other institutes brought them under the common umbrella and thus promoting Textile Alumni association. Interestingly, there is no single parent organization to interact but itself a self-governed body providing a regular support to all the three. Ahmedabad Textile Industry has been well served by the Alumni and a good number of members was recognized as pillars of the industry.

To prepare a brief document about a 40 yr old association is a stupendous task as nothing concrete is in hand, one may miss few important events and some very active names. One would like to be pardoned for the same.

The new association in 1977 had a number of senior members who came forward and supported the activities as defined by all. Jenuda, Radhuda,Tonoyda , Chinmoyda and others followed by Amol Hira, Satya Banerjee, Purnendu Bose, Subir Dutta, Ajoy Dasgupta, Susanta Mukherjee, Kanungo,  Bani Bardhan, Sadhan Ghosh and others were always ready to help. Pronoy and Sisir backed up by late Kamal Bagchi did all the leg-walk to connect and set the ball rolling. Late Jyoti Chakraborty, Late Kamal Bagchi and few others took the lead in Cultural as well as picnic / sight-seeing in and out of Ahmedabad / Gujarat and they excelled. The huge contributions from some of the boudis, particularly Rini and Sangeeta, Sucheta and family members call for much appreciation.

The cultural enthusiast could connect with legends like Suchitra Mitra, Manna Dey, Dwijen Mukherjee, Anup Ghoshal, Kabir Suman Subhomita, Ritu Guha, Somya Basu, Saikat Mitra, Utpalendu Chowdhury, , Haimanti Shukla, , Shantanu Bhattacharya ,“Chhotu” from Rajasthan and a few more to make TAAWB a centre for cultural entertainment. In fact, historically another legend like Kavita Krishnamurthy was first presented here in a major show by Manna Dey. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa have been well covered time and again by the group responsible for Diwali Tour.

The pattern of enjoyment and entertainment continued but age took away very seniors  Unfortunately some youngers  like Amitava Dam , Kamal , Jyoti , Arun Mitra , Sukhsagar , Gopal Bairi left us without notice. The mid-age became veterans and new inflow of pass-outs were slow and less. Ahmedabad in general was undergoing a structural change, Alumni were relocating and in turn though broadly the alumni activities were going on, the link between the generations was becoming weaker calling for a fresh approach to a rejuvenated , refreshed , 4G led alumni to bring in high-octane activities and in turn with a large number of new entrants  in the last decade, the association got a major desired boost. The new life could be felt as Chandan, Pulak, Siddhartha, Prabir, Kamal, Atanu, Dilip, Dipankar, Arun, Rajarshi  etc and injected fresh blood that inspired current bunch of administrators, Surashis, Saikat, Kalyan, Pranab, Asit, Panna, and the other alumni.

2018 saw a rebirth of Alumni with huge commitment and interests. The beauty of this re-emergence has been that 1G & 4G could talk the same language, sit on the same side of the table and enjoyed. A great celebration of Republic day, Holi, a fabulous Baisakhi celebration on 29th April and now the upcoming cultural events on 23rd June. Delhi –Amritsar Diwali tour and different one day celebration like janmastami, Bijoya Sammilani are creating the feelings of “We are the best”. Let us move with newer objectives and see like other global alumni association. Can we connect with our parent organizations effectively and align with their goals with the new ones we find in the advanced industry and education / research?