The reunion of 1968 batch mates of KREC at NITK premises, Surathkal become a reality on 23rd and 24th of December 2013. The entire event was a grand success without any hitches. The function was organised with meticulous planning by the organizers and went off smoothly. The old students and their spouses stayed in the campus for two nights at NITK guest house complex which were in the midst of nature and greenery with cool breeze from the nearby beach.
The function was attended by the class mates from all over the world including Dubai, USA, UK apart from all over India. This was a union of various personalities like professional managers, entrepreneurs, professors, institutional heads, technical wizards, businessmen and scientists even though majority of them are retired by now.
Reunion of 1968 batch mates on the first day was very much emotional, breath taking, interesting and amusing. Having the image of their young age class mates and roommates during 1963 to 1968 stamped in their mind,; it became very difficult to search their old friends among the existing old aged participants with bald head, grey hair and face with lot of wrinkles. It was an embarrassing situation for many of them when they could not recognize each other and failed to get the names of the persons while introducing to their spouses. The identity badge with names suspended around the neck of the batch mates substantially helped everybody to reunite with the old friends after fifty years.
49 old students of 1968 batch, 26 spouses and 7 family members participated in the grand occasion. The ladies used the opportunity to make new friends with each other and spent time in hearing the adventurous stories of their spouses during latter’s student life in the field of education, in the field of ragging juniors, in the field of following and making fun of the girls in Surathkal beach.
The function started with invocation of Lord Vighneshwara .Homage to the departed 1968 batch mates was conducted by observing two minute silence. Chief Guest of the function Prof. Swapan Bhattacharya, Director of NITK formally inaugurated the event by lighting of the lamp.
The Retired Professors of NITK Mechanical Department Prof. K Ganapathi Bhat , Prof. A Jayakar Hegde ,Prof V.C.Kavali , Retired Professors of Electrical Department Prof. M K Parashuram ,Prof. P Sudhakar Shetty ,Prof. Sarasu Eappan, Prof. K Ramesh Kamath , Retired Professors of Civil Engineering Department . Prof. B Rajagopal Samaga, Prof. Ramakrishna K Yaji , Prof. E J John Civil , Prof.N Bhavanishankar Rao , Prof. P C M Kunhi , Retired Professors of Mathematics Department Prof.K Mohan Hegde , Prof. J S V Saldhanha and Retired Professors of Chemistry Department Prof.P Deva Rao and Prof Gadag were felicitated during the first day of event.
Prof.Sudhakar Shetty, Prof.Jayakar Hegde, Prof.Ramesh Kamath, Prof.PCM Kunhi and Prof. Mohan Hegde impressed the audience with their emotional speeches which were applauded by the participants.
Prof. Srinivas Rao H Nagesh and Prof. Sethumadhav Rao could not attend the reunion event at NITK premises and were later felicitated by 1968 batch members at their residence.
The morning session concluded with a delicious lunch at Mega mess, kindly sponsored by Mr. Babu Pai.
In the afternoon session, Prof. Saidutta of NITK gave a presentation on “Progress of KREC from the year of 1968 to 2013 as NITK”. This was followed by photo session and the Campus tour.
The campus tour arranged was quite interesting and all the guests were surprised to see the tremendous developments in the technical and civil infrastructure took place since 1968 to till today. The 1968 batch mates spent half of the 5 years in the campus with the class rooms under temporary sheds; residing rooms in the half built staff quarters and asbestos sheet roofed sheds, with toilets and bathrooms without tap waters; ,nights with companion of dreaded mosquitoes;;workshops and laboratories with inadequate equipment and instruments.; frequently interrupted electricity supply which troubled them enough while copying the engineering drawing drawn by studious batch mates, via glass tracing (GT) !!.The ultra modern facilities with computer systems made the class mates to recollect the days spent with elephant sized drawing boards and T squares and so called calculators (i.e.) slide rules. The lady members were astonished to see the engineering gadgets and facilities which they never thought of seeing in their life and they were proud of their engineer husbands.
The night “Fellowship dinner” was organized in open area of Hotel Red Rock which was sponsored by Dr.K. Karunakar. All the batch mates along with their family enjoyed the dinner. The professional Orchestra headed by Mr. Muralidhar Kamath entertained the participants with melodious old songs of golden era of sixties to eighties. Mr. U.C. Achar from the 1968 batch also entertained the audience with a couple of songs including humorous songs of student life and a mono acting. Mr. B.V. Rao also presented the melodious recorded poems written by him. With this the first day events came to an end
The second day event started with a key note address by Dr. K.Karunakar on the subject “R&D experience in electronics system used in Aerospace applications “The speech was very informative and well received by audience. Dr. Devadas Shetty from USA introduced the audience to the latest Technic of”Smart manufacturing-State of art” which is being introduced in elsewhere of the world where importance is being given to Additive manufacturing. This presentation was well prepared and delivered by him which earned lot of appreciation.
Mr. Ramdas P racked the subject of “Leadership” and emphasized the importance of leadership qualities an entrepreneur must have. Same was very much educative and informative.Dr. Shantharam Somayaji gave a short presentation on habit of “Reading and Writing and short story writing” with his own style of presentation with lot of lighter jokes which was welcome by audience with clapping.
Mr. B.V.Rao talked about the batch mates who excelled in their profession after obtaining the degree in KREC. Some of the audiences including the ladies spoke regarding the whole function and praised the organizers for conducting spot free function which was a grand success.
Dr. Gopinath gave the vote of thanks and with this the two days function came to an end. The afternoon lunch at Mega mess was again very delicious which was sponsored by Mr. Kusha Shetty. The whole function was well conducted by Mr.S.G.Hegde in the role of Master of Ceremony and was appreciated by everybody.
The credit for the grand success of the event must go to the Organizing Team consisting of Mr. B.V.Rao, Mr.Sudhakar Shanubhag, Dr. Karunakar.K and Dr.Gopinath from Bangalore. The credit must also goes to the solid support and encouragement by M.M.Mubeen from Dubai and excellent and meticulous field work done by Mr. U.C. Achar in establishing proper coordination and net working between the Bangalore team and NITK Staff. Mr. Achar was supported by Mr. Vasudeva Bhat and Mr. Narayan Pailoor.
Every event has to come to an end. All the participants left the venue with heavy heart but with full of sweet memories of the function as well as the golden era from 1963 to 1968 as students. We pray GOD to keep all the participants healthy and energetic in coming years so that all the batch mates including the ones who could not attend this function will be able to meet once again in the same Campus of KREC during 2018 to celebrate the golden Jubilee reunion of 1968 batch mates
By U. Chandrashekhara Achar
U. Chandrashekhara Achar hails from Shirva in Udipi district. He is the son of Late Dr. U.K.Achar who was a well known doctor in Shirva. .Mr. Achar retired in 2006 at the age of 60, as Chief Manager Plant Engineering in M/S Voltas Ltd Thane, ( Mumbai), after 30 years of service . Before that he worked in M/s WG Forge Ltd, Thane.
Now he is settled in Mangalore with his wife. He has two daughters, both settled in USA. He is a 1968 B.E. graduate in Electrical Engineering from KREC.