Independence Day at MIT Manipal
Celebrating Our 68th
As we celebrate 68 years of our nation’s freedom, let’s take a look at what it took to earn it. The Indian Independence movement went by many names, under many able leaders, and ultimately required the force of millions to cause the earthquake that shook loose the roots of an empire that had chained India’s eagle pinion for over two hundred years. Many young men and women worked hard, giving up their families and their livelihoods, so that one day the tricolour may fly high and mighty over reverent eyes. Though not in that particular order, the students of MIT celebrated the nation’s 69th Independence Day in a similar fashion.
The day began with a flag hoisting ceremony at Manipal University’s EDU building. The venue was alive with students of the various colleges under the MU umbrella, along with staff members, local residents, and their families. Presiding over the proceedings was the Chief Guest, Chancellor of the University and Padma Bhushan awardee, Dr. Ramdas Pai. The opening speech was delivered by Dr. Harishchandra Hebbar, from the School of Information Science, who reminisced on India’s freedom struggle.
The most awaited part of Manipal’s Independence Day celebrations has always been the march past, which featured 21 participating contingents this time around. Along with the colleges, there were also sharply dressed contingents representing the NCC, Security, and Home Guard. A special jeep was provided, in which the Chancellor could ride and be saluted by the contingents, each of which had their own unique attire. After an energetic march past, participatory felicitations were awarded to the leaders of each contingent. The awards for the three best contingents were handed out afterwards, with the Faculty of Architecture bagging first place.
Manipal boasts a choice selection of minds across borders both domestic and international, all of whom stood equal before a flag as brothers in arms. What followed the jubilant and dapper march past was sheer solemnity, as everyone stood in silence watching Dr. Ramdas Pai hoist the nation’s tricolour. The Independence Day celebration at the EDU building saw a fitting conclusion in the hundreds present singing the national anthem unwaveringly, as one.
The second chapter of Independence Day at MIT takes us to our New Lecture Hall, where the Rotaract Club, RedX, and the Student Council of MIT organized a blood donation camp. Experts from Kasturba Medical Hospital, along with the club volunteers, stood on their toes as they tended to the donors while ensuring sanitary conditions. The dignitaries present were Dr. Vinod V. Thomas, Director of MIT, and Associate Director Dr. Manohar Pai, who overlooked the event with keen eyes. Participating students lauded the efforts of the organizers and expressed genuine satisfaction in having contributed to the society in a meaningful way, knowing that a few drops of blood now could save an ocean of tears later.
The matinee segment of the day took place at the Library Auditorium, with the Student Council spearheading the freshman orientation session. Dr. Veena Maben, Associate Director of Student Welfare, looked on as the freshmen were treated to the plethora of clubs, activities, and facilities that our college has to offer. Chief Librarian Dr. Rekha D. Pai spoke elaborately about our library’s vast inventory and the rules that helped maintain it. This was followed by presentations from IAESTE, AIESEC, NCC, and the Council’s introduction to our technical and cultural clubs. Budding freshmen were showcased opportunities ranging from an internship in Bulgaria to the chance to let go on stage with Aaina. Dr. Kemparaj, Director of Physical Education, showed the students the many fitness facilities available at Marena and the platform we provide for the ambitious sportsman spirit. The Student Council maintained a friendly atmosphere within the hall as they welcomed the batch of 2019 to the MIT family.
The Final Run-Down
The conclusion to Independence Day 2015 took us down to the tracks as a hundred-odd students geared up for the Cross-Country Race. Our Director waved the flag as the students got off to a running start. The marathon, eight kilometres for the men and four for the ladies, demanded patience and grit, as it took them to and around the Manipal Lake. The MIT Sports Club worked with the Student Council, meticulously ensuring that ambulances, physiotherapists, necessary police permissions, regular checkpoints, clean routes, and constant refreshments were taken care of. Dr. Vinod V. Thomas took great care in bringing this event to its fruition, as he regularly checked on its preparation, suggesting changes to the route. Under his guidance, MIT had something truly unique in this year’s run. Alongside MIT students ran members of Manipal Integrated Services, the same men who are vigilant in their presence throughout campus as able security guards. At the end of the run, the prizes were distributed by the Director and Joint Director.
This year’s Independence Day was made possible by men and women who worked above and beyond the stroke of the midnight hour. The MIT Post salutes those students who, in the spirit of those who fought for our freedom, say, “Kuch karna hai. Aaj kuch karna hai.” To one and all, Jai Hind.