Aligarh, October 18:
The Aligarh Muslim University today organized the Alumni Meet-2015, which was attended by more than 600 alumni from various countries and all over India.While addressing the Alumni Meet-2015 at the University’s Kennedy Hall Auditorium, the Chief Guest, Mr Jawed Usmani, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and current Chief Information Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, said that truly, we as alumni were nourished by our Alma Mater and we all owe a debt of gratitude to our Alma Mater.He added that the alumni harbor a deep sense of affection towards the University that should encourage us to give our time and resources to it.
“The positive experiences we have had and the fond memories of years spent with friends create a strong sense of belonging, connecting us to our Alma Mater long after we have left school. This is what motivates the alumni, whom we endearingly term ‘old boys’ and ‘old girls’, to return year after year,” said Mr Usmani. He lamented that the alumni can contribute by being inspiring role models and by finding time to visit the University, to connect and interact with students and inspire them to work towards achieving their goals.
Naseeruddin Shah being felicitated with a memento by the Registrar Dr. Asfar Ali Khan
An IAS topper of 1978 batch, Mr Usmani also said that the alumni can provide helpful connections in the commercial world for internship, career and business opportunities. “More importantly, alumni can support bright students who are in need. The American universities do this extremely well — they understand that the brightest attract the brightest,” he said.
“Through their endowment funds, they are prepared to subsidize bright students heavily. The bright students are grateful for the help, tend to be successful in life and are in turn willing to contribute to the university. This helps to generate a virtuous cycle:” said Mr Usmani adding that alumni can also provide corpus funds to build needed infrastructure, create new departments, or set up faculty chairs.Mr Usmani also said that alumni can fund path breaking research programmes and new innovative courses, focused on employability. “Sports and cultural activities can be supported by the well settled alumni and new hostels and halls of residence can be built,” further said Mr Usmani. He pointed out that with the rapid transformation in the global education, AMU ‘old boys’ and ‘old girls’ should support their alma mater by focusing on the challenges and opportunities that are ahead to help offer a world-class education to the best and make AMU a university of choice.
Quoting the great poet Iqbal on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s work, Mr Usmani said, “Iqbal said that the greatness of Sir Syed consists in the fact that he was the first Indian Muslim who felt the need of a fresh orientation of Islam and worked for it and it was in this perspective and vision that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan established the MAO College.
“The seed which Sir Syed had sown had grown up into a mighty tree in today’s Aligarh Muslim University,” said Mr Usmani adding that it is hoped that AMU alumni will step forward to give their best to the University to experience this special feeling of giving and belonging.During his address, AMU Alumni, eminent actor and Padma Bhushan, Mr Naseer Uddin Shah promised to regularly visit AMU and contribute in training students interested in theatre activities. He urged students in the gathering to resurrect the old glory of theatre in AMU and work hard in achieving the rights aims of theatre activities.
Pointing out that theatre has an important communication purpose, which is a need in today’s world and not only an entertainment value, Mr Shah urged the theatre enthusiasts in AMU to do theatre in the right direction. Thanking his mentors in AMU, Professor Shehnaz Hashmi, Prof Zahida Zaidi, Prof Muneebur Rehman and prof. Asadur Rahman, he said that his mentors and AMU made him learn language, culture and hard work. Mr Naseer Uddin Shah was one of the guests of honour at the function.While thanking the students for giving him a standing ovation, noted cardiologist and Padma Bhushan Dr Ashok Seth, who was also the guest of honour, said that AMU has given numerous gifted and talented individuals to the country and the world.He added that AMU did not only give me a degree but love and affection, which was larger than anything.
Dr Seth also said that what makes AMU great is that the students, academics and Alumnus of this university can sacrifice for each other. He assured the AMU community to provide major facilities related to the treatment of cardiac problems once the Cathlab is established at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College.Mr Ameer Ahamad, Chairman and Group Managing Director, Manappat Foundation urged that students to work hard by saying that there is no short cut to success.
Giving examples of people in his native state of Kerala, Mr Ahamad said that Kerala has a pluralistic society with hardly any differences based on religion and caste. “If Muslims in Kerala have prospered in the past 60 years, so can the Muslims living in Uttar Pradesh,” said Mr Ahamad adding that people in Aligarh and other cities of Uttar Pradesh should start the upliftment of the underprivileged in their neighborhoods and then move to far off places with the same vision.
Emeritus Professor Habib A Zuberi, University of Michigan, USA, Guest of Honour, said that he is an economist and believes in practical things. “I think that the well settled AMU alumnus in various parts of US, Europe and Asian countries can come together and work for providing scholarships and funding for the talented students attending AMU,” he added. “In one of the last messages received by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from Allah, he was guided to eradicate ignorance,” said Prof Zuberi adding that AMU students who will soon join the alumni community should work on eradicating ignorance.
The Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) said that it is hoped that students will learn from the success stories of Alumnus gathered in AMU.“The Alumni present on the occasion are hoped to provide the students with the three Ts, which are their time, their talent and the treasure of experience and knowledge with them,” said the AMU Vice Chancellor. He added that AMU students can learn from the success stories of the Alumni.The AMU Vice Chancellor pointed out that CEPECAMI will help us to establish a chain of Sir Syed Public Schools under the Sir Syed Fundation. “With Mr Ameer Ahamad, we will also work together for women empowerment,” he assured.
AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) further informed names of various AMU Alumni, who have donated jewelry and cash worth several lacs of Rupees. He further informed that AMU Alumni Associations based in different Middle Eastern countries have also donated generously to the university. The Aligarh Muslim University, Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali (retd) said that ‘today is a red letter day’ for AMU as after many years more than 600 alumni from various parts of the world have gathered to attend the Alumni Meet.
Addressing the Alumni, Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali said that they are illustrious sons and daughters of AMU and this university salutes their love and affection for the Alma Mater. “We deeply value our relation with Alumni and I would like to inform that during my visits to US and Middle Eastern countries, I spent more time with the Alumni than with my family members,” said Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali adding that AMU Alumni have been donating generously to the AMU and the establishment of smart class rooms have come out of these donations. “We look forward to more cooperation with our alumni,” also said the Pro Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali. While welcoming the guests to the Alumni Meet, Dr Suhail Sabir, Chairman, Alumni Affairs Committee informed that it is for the first time in AMU that such a big number of alumni have gathered at the same time.He further informed that it has been recently learnt that AMU Alumni community is spread over in 103 different countries.
The Pro Chancellor, Nawab Ibne Saeed Khan of Chattari, Mr Nausha Asrar and the oldest living AMU alumni, Brigadier Iqbal Shafi from Islamabad in Pakistan were also present in the programme.Meanwhile, a jewelry donated by AMU alumni, Mrs Afshana Hashmi was auctioned in which the highest bid of Rs 11 lacs was done by Mr Raees Ahmad, Chairman and managing Director of Rassaz Group, Mumbai. During the auction ceremony, a further donation of about 65 lacs was also received from various AMU alumni Associations, students, teachers and well wishers.
AMU Public Relations Officer, Dr Rahat Abrar’s Urdu book, “Muslim University ki Kahani Farzandan-e-Aligarh Ki Zubani,” (Memoirs of Old Boys from 1875 till date) was also released during the programme. USA based alumnus, Mr. Dr. Nausha Asrar’s poetry book “Dil Se Dil Tak” and the Souvenir of the Alumni Meet were also released on this occasion.The Programme was conducted by Dr F S Sheerani and the AMU Registrar, Dr Asfar Ali Khan proposed the vote of thanks.