I received some good news about the Institute a two days ago. It was an article in Time of India. A few of our students celebrated Diwali with blind students of Bhima Bhoi High School. The report is reproduced below:
In the wake of such horrible incidents, the celebration of diwali among the Blind Students was really good news. Thanks you people for such wonderful act of kindness and making the Institute proud.
Festival of lights in the dark
BHUBANESWAR: It was a different Diwali for the students of Bhimabhoi Blind School here on Wednesday. Used as they are to a dark festival of lights, this year it was fun-filled, with loads of chocolates, sweets, a feast, songs, dance and firecrackers, thanks to the altruism of a group of engineering students from the International Institute of Information and Technology (IIIT).
Prayas Purusottam, a third year engineering student of IIIT, said, "We wanted to make this Diwali special for these children."
The students set aside a portion of their pocket money and used that sum to buy chocolates, sweets, candles and crackers for the 80 inmates, including 30 girls. The girls were decked up with mehendi, alta, kumkum, nail polish and bindi, while the boys played cricket and carom. They also participated in different competitions like antakshari and other games. The engineering students also sponsored a special lunch.
"It was probably the best Diwali of my life. The bhaiyas and didis did a lot for us. We are really grateful to them. I don't think we will ever forget this Diwali," said Badal Kumar Das, a Class-X student.
What's more, the IIIT students decorated the school campus with rangolis, diyas and candles. "These children cannot see light but they can feel it. The smile on their faces is precious. It's an overwhelming feeling that by spending a day with them we can bring so much happiness to them," said Anuja Rout, a third year computer science student.
Sabina, a student of Class-I, said, "These didis and bhaiyas made our day special. I didn't miss my family."
But this day of light was preceded by many dark days.
Prof. Ajit Das fractured his hand and was out of circulation. The fracture was particularly bad : the forearm broke into two pieces. He had a surgery lasting four hours. We must thank God, the creator of human body and the greatest Engineer of all: The broken arm will be as good as new in a few months.
A few students assaulted one of our staff members. It was an unpardonable act irrespective of the whatever the provocation. The students seemed apologetic afterwards but is that enough?
As few days ago two groups of students got into a melee.
We had to cancel Diwali celebrations and packed off all the students from the hostel.
I am deeply disturbed by such events. Such events direct our limited energy towards meeting internal challenges where as we should be spending our time in meeting external challenges and pursue innovation and excellence.
Such incidents are observed in many Institutes and Universities including IITs. This of course is no consolation for us. A few individuals can not be allowed to obstruct the process building a great Institution.