Vishal Srivastava

BHOPAL: For the first time in fifteen years, the ten odd ex-students of Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) would not be able to celebrate the Independence Day on their campus, courtesy the prevailing corona pandemic. Ever since they left the campus in 2007, these IIFM pass-outs have been coming here to be a part of the I-day celebrations at their alma mater. However, the prevailing situation due to Covid-19 pandemic has dashed all their plans of coming down to the capital city for the event. This group of students entered the campus in 2005 and passed out two years later but the attachment to their institute grew stronger with each passing year and they without a miss would come from all parts of the world to the institute to celebrate Independence Day together.

 Some of them have moved abroad to the USA, UAE and South Africa, but when it came to celebrating the I-day with their old classmates and at the Institute which has given them a standing in the world, they were more than eager to cover long distances. Abhishek Kar has got a job in USA, while Kamal Timlsina has moved to UAE and working there, the duo along with their old classmates Bigsna Gill, Srikant, Rajeev Singh and Ashish Malik had planned to come down to the State capital to celebrate the day like other years, however, the pandemic has ruined all their plans. They all are very disappointed as it would be first time in 15 years that they are not together celebrating the day on their campus. However, they are all hopeful to join in at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

Syed Tarique Alam, an alumnus said, he has settled in Chandigarh but likes to visit his campus at least once a year. What will be a better time than to visit your campus on Independence Day, he said. This year we will have virtual flag-hoisting with every group member remaining present on the app to salute the tricolour, he added.

Rishi Prakash, who in the past had come all the way from the USA to attend the function here, rued that this time despite being in the country he would not be able come to Bhopal and participate in the flag hoisting ceremony . For us there is no better occasion of coming together than celebrating the Independence Day at the institute campus, he added. This year it will be a virtual celebration as none of us could come to Bhopal, but hopefully we would be attending the celebrations on the eve of Republic Day, said Rishi.

Amitabh Pandey , a professor at IIFM, said this group of 12 ex-students ever since they left the institute, have been coming here every year without a gap to celebrate Independence day. From the year they got admission here till last year they have been celebrating this day. These are testing times and travel should be avoided, we hope things will be normal soon and we would invite them again.

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