February 23, 2023
1996 Batch IITKGP Alumni Meet
After two years of Covid, the on-campus reunion of the 1996 IITKGP batch was a successful event organized by the Alumni cell. Almost 150 alumni with their partners recently visited IIT Kharagpur from 9th to 12th February 2023 to celebrate 25 years since graduation which they had missed due to COVID. The Technology club & Guest house was filled with overwhelming nostalgia and enthusiasm. The alums visited Gopali Tea Garden, their home department, and joined a campus tour of their favorite and familiar places on campus. The attendees energetically participated in a 2.2km marathon run. The alums participated in the inaugural / unveiling of a new classroom at Nalanda (NC-341) endowed by the 1996 batch. The inauguration was done by Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari (Director, IIT Kharagpur) along with other dignitaries and alumni with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Finally, an outstanding cultural event was organized for the entertainment of the Alumni at the Kalidas Auditorium. An interactive session with the Alumni along with the dignitaries of the institution was held one evening to share ideas and discuss areas that require transformation to meet future goals in terms of Alma Connect. The attendees witnessed an illumination program (lights of KGP) where the sky was lit up with lamps. The 1996 batch was feted with a closing Gala dinner. The time spent on campus resulted in many opportunities to reminisce about the good old days with friends and batchmates with some getting together after 26 years. According to Mithuna Thottethodi, one of the 1996 batch champions, “the reunion attendees are in a happy place just from the memories of the event.” He goes on to explain some of the context:
The class which entered IITKGP in 1992 did so under special circumstances; they were the first batch to all be housed in the same hall (V.S. Hall) for the first year. The one full year of togetherness that we had gave us an additional sense of community and togetherness beyond what prior batches (which were distributed among various halls) may enjoy. Of course, that sense of community naturally extended to the whole batch including IG/SN Hall residents and campusites from our batch. It lives on today both in the virtual world (via active WhatsApp groups) and in the physical world (via many unofficial mini get togethers), and one even fairly large unofficial reunion in the Bay Area). It was at the Bay Area reunion that the attendees decided that giving back to IITKGP as a batch (and not only as individuals) was important. That's how our batch gift effort was born.
The 1996 IITKGP Batch has been instrumental in raising nearly $70K in donations to the IITKGP Foundation (USA) and continues to generate support. Their goal is to next select projects they would support at the IITKGP campus. In the last 6 weeks of 2023 alone, the 1996 alumni have raised more than $10,000. The next step now is to identify specific projects that the group wants to support at the IITKGP campus.
The 1996 Batch’s efforts exemplify what other IITKGP batches can do to support the development and prestige of the IITKGP campus.