Aligarh: Hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumni from across the world who attended the Sir Syed Bicentenary AMU Alumni Meet—2017 at the university’s Kennedy Hall Auditorium were caught up in nostalgia as the meet concluded with a valedictory function.
AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor after thanking the alumni for their visit said that the university will soon have ‘Distinguished Alumni Awards’ in national and international categories.
He pointed out that there is a plan to introduce alumni meets for all the faculties separately, which will be organised under the aegis of a central body of university’s Alumni Affairs Committee. “However, the idea is subject to change and discussions and has yet to be finalised,” said Prof Mansoor.
The Vice Chancellor further said that AMU is also planning to connect children of Alumni with the university through internships and other programmes. “Children of many alumni living in different parts of India and abroad are attending universities in various parts of world, we would like them to connect with the alma mater of their parents through special programmes,” said Prof Mansoor adding that many universities have been doing this and it can be done in AMU too.
Prof O P Kalra (Vice Chancellor, Pt H L Sharma University of Health Sciences), who attended the function as the chief guest said that he came to Aligarh to appear in the MBBS entrance exam with hardly any money and a place to stay. “I stayed in a Gurudwara and was selected in the waiting list for admission in MBBS,” said Prof Kalra adding that my candidature for admission was selected in AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Banaras Hindu University’s Medical College at the same time.
“My father advised me to attend AMU and taught me Urdu,” recalled Mr Kalra pointing out that a few years ago he visited his hostel room and found a research scholar of Sanskrit from a Muslim background residing in his room. “This is exactly what Sir Syed’s vision was,” he said adding that a student from a Hindu background like him learnt Urdu in AMU, while a Muslim boy becomes a researcher scholar of Sanskrit in the same University.
USA based, Dr Abdul Wasey (senior cardiologist) pointed out that the revelation of the Holy Quran began with the word Iqra, urging humanity to read in the name of Lord who has created them. He added that the religious scriptures invite people towards knowledge and wisdom and Sir Syed with his efforts led people to the light of knowledge from the darkness of ignorance.
He urged students to not get distracted and to keep focussing on their goals. “If you keep your focus and work hard with determination, success will sure come,” said Dr Wasey.
USA based entrepreneur, Mr Taher Madraswala said that he reached New York with just 90 US Dollars in his pocket and worked hard to put a 100 million dollars company. “My success has been because I was groomed by my teachers in the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology and I was loved by my seniors and juniors,” he said.
Mr Madraswala urged students to gain knowledge in the 20s, apply that knowledge in the 30s, chase money in their 40s, enjoy the hard earned money in their 50’s and do charity when they retire.
Mr Ali Harris Shere (Vice President, Britannia) said that his education in AMU shaped his value system and taught him to respect people. Recollecting a meeting with Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan; he said that the actor soon recognised his AMU background after meeting him. “Salman Khan told me that the ethos of AMU were reflecting in my conversations,” said Mr Shere.
He urged students to keep their hunger for knowledge, have proper mentorship, be visible with their achievements, understand the importance of networking and to have fresh perspectives to succeed in life.
On the occasion, a news letter and a book, ‘Sir Syed –Bharat ke Anmol Ratan’ authored by Mr Ikhlas Ahmad Sherwani was released by the Vice Chancellor.
A special attraction of the meet was a session of AMU’s women achievers in which Prof Yasmin Saikia (Arizona State University), Mrs Arifa Khanam (Senior journalist), Mrs Sabiha Said (Vice President, KPMG), Mrs Tasneem Rasol Boaz (Indian Railway Traffic Services), Prof Nuzhat Parveen Khan (Dean, Faculty of Law, Jamia Milia Islamia), Mrs Ghazala Kohkan Shamsi (New York, USA) and Mrs Taab Siddiqui (Owner, Harvest Gold Food India) were the panellists.
Meanwhile a session on Aligarh Open University, a platform through which AMU alumni spread all over the world share knowledge and experiences with current university students was also organised.
Earlier, in the day students associated with the University Drama Club performed a play on Sir Syed.
A troupe of ‘Ahmadi School for Visually Challenged’ sang the Tarana and the National Anthem. Dr Shariq Aqeel conducted the programme, while Prof Suhail Sabir proposed the vote of thanks.