OCA INDIA REPORT : 2017-19 (as on 31st March, 2019)
When the OCA India Committee, under the able guidance of its President Justice R.S.Sodhi (Retd.), took over charge of the Association w.e.f. 1st of April 2017, we all were very enthusiastic of lifting the OCA to a new heights by implementing some new ideas and projects to meet the objectives of our association. Some of the highlights of our team’s working in last two years are as follows :-
- In the initial phase, around May 2017, we were able to initiate the commissioning of an OCA Application for iphones and androids for the OCs to be on a common social platform with other Old students. The App was solely funded by the Batch of 1983 and was run on trial basis for some months to ensure its smooth operation and to get rid of unwanted glitches, if any. By beginning February 2018 we had successfully tested and launched the said App. on both platforms of Mobile phones. Which is being constantly upgraded with the help of a designated technical team.
- OCA India provided its full support to OC Capt. Sandeep Mansukhani who became the first Old Cottonian to scale the Mount Everest in his Second Attempt on 21st May 2018. Our heartiest congratulations to him and his family! I humbly take this opportunity to also state that OCA India had donated Rs.1,00,000/- in his first attempt in 2015 and Rs.50,000/- in 2018, for this noble cause.
- Meanwhile, our President had a vision of dedicating a ‘Wall of Honour’ in the War memorial at BCS to honour those Cottonians who had sacrificed ‘their today for our tomorrow’ while defending the nation. Justice Sodhi went out of his way to convince the Board of Governors and School management to implement the said Project. He also provided the necessary funds from his personal account to have the associated job-works done which were timely completed before the OC week began. On 27th September 2018 during OC week, the said ‘Brass Plaque’ (3X2 ft.) as donated by Justice R.S.Sodhi (retd.), was commemorated by the mother of One martyred OC ‘Capt. Sanjay Dogra’ of 1st Maratha Light Infantry, in Presence of the Headmaster, students, & entire staff whilst the School Band played harmoniously. A contingent comprising of an Officer and two Soldiers from Pune of 1st Maratha Light Infantry had been especially deputed by the Unit CO to present a Brass Plaque in the name and in honour of Capt. Sanjay Dogra’s sacrifice. Both the Plaques were duly installed on the Front wall (Left Side) of the War memorial.
- On the administrative front most of our general affairs were quite well managed by the entire team but our Association was served a Show-cause notice dated 08.07.2017 by FCRA deptt. in lieu of not filing the concerned account returns since the Sesqui-centennial celebration year 2009 ended. It was during this year such a Foreign Contribution account A/c No. 00131100913359 was opened in Punjab & Sind Bank, H Block, Connaught Place, New Delhi by OCA India. Nevertheless, an effective reply to such notice was duly submitted on 12.09.2017 together with FC3, FC4, C.A.’s certificates and all audited financial statements from 2009 onwards till date. All the requirements to the said notice were complied for and sent to the department. The said Bank account was then closed by OCA as it was not purposefully used since so many years and the balance money was then transferred to OCA India Account, Delhi Chapter.
- Early this year Our president had also envisaged that the Canada Chapter be formed, as the country always had a lot of representation of OCs. Therefore, a due process was initiated in the month of April 2018 by the OCA Secretary who approached a dynamic OC Gerald Godinho (1983 batch +2) based in Toronto to get the OCs together and after his lot of persuasion and efforts an ‘OCA Canada Chapter” was formed successfully over a Lunch meeting on June 3rd 2018 with following as its members. Jerry (Gerald Godinho) deserves a special mention here who has been organising such Lunch/ Dinner events since last 20 years;
Gerald Godinho (Lefroy 1982) – President,
Gautam Salwan (1989) – Vice-President
Jasraj Dhanjal (Ibbetson 2009) – Secretary
Sanjay Chadha – Treasurer
Sameer Sodhi – Astt. Treasurer
Tanvir Sodhi – Class Representative & Member
- Buoyed up by the success of Canada chapter the president also requested the Secretary to initiate the process of forming an Australian Chapter, if possible. Currently the said project is still at a nascent stage under talks with an enthusiastic OC named Puneet Sachdeva based at Sydney.
- Under the OCA India banner the OCA HP chapter was duly able to form their Committee after many years upon conducting a due Process in September 2018 and after their General body duly approving the extension of existing President’s (HP Chapter) tenure by another 2 years. Now it comprises of the Following OC members ;
Narinder Chauhan – President
Preetinder Singh – Vice President
Vinayak Jishtu – Secretary
Ankur Chauhan – Jt. Secretary
Ashish Chauhan – Treasurer
- The OCA Mumbai Chapter Lunch was successfully conducted on the 20th January 2019 at the ‘Gymkhana Club’, Mumbai and had a good participation of 25 OCs and 10 OC Wives. Simultaneously on that day, under the guidance its Hony. Secretary (Mumbai Chapter) Suneel Bandhu who deserves kudos here for the hardwork he has put in last 5 years of his tenure, the said process of Committee formation was duly conducted in Presence of Secretary & Vice President of OCA India. The members present duly approved the appointment of a New Committee comprising of the Following office bearers ;
Shiv Kapur – President
Yadvendra Sharma – Secretary
Sanjesh Bhatia – Jt. Secretary
Mohnish Sharma – Treasurer
- Another project we had undertaken was the compilation and editing of a centralized data of all Old Cottonians worldwide. A senior OC Himmat Singh (Rivaz 1962) was entrusted to carry out a detailed compilation which he is still carrying out selflessly. Currently our records are scattered all over the chapters and with individuals but the same have not been compiled together at all. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to computerise all that into a verified list excel format in order to know more about our fraternity worldwide and also it has become necessary for our Association to have an effective means of networking amongst ourselves for both on professional and personal grounds which is also a must to keep the OC spirit alive.
- Last but not the least OCA India had been working since a long time in finding a solution to some suitable education programme for BCS students which could help them in choosing a career according to his aptitude and learning capabilities. Thereby after a long research about the same, an Onsite-online Career Education Programme, which connects their learning to work, an Independent agency providing such software was introduced to the Headmaster. If implemented by the school then the takeaways for students will be :
Discover and identify Interest, Strengths and abilities;
Explore and select Career Options;
Choose Majors/ Courses and Colleges;
Create Meaningful connections with peers.
The software also has dashboards for parents, a School Facilitator and the Headmaster to provide them info on students journey. Thereafter, it is left to the Headmaster and Board of Governors whether to implement the said software programme or not.
Apart from the above, with the help of entire OCA team we successfully hosted the OCA India Annual reunion Lunches of 2018 & 19 at New Delhi, both of which had large attendance of 200+ people at each event. Also, the OC weeks of September 2018 & 19 at BCS were celebrated with much enthusiasm and vigour during our tenure. I would hereby like to thank the entire staff of BCS and especially the HM Mr. R.C.Robinson for extending his full support and co-operation to OCA India to conduct such events in School timely & effectively.
I take this opportunity to thank our President Justice R.S.Sodhi without whose fantastic organisational skills & guidance it would not have possible to achieve whatever little we could in the last 2 yrs. I am extremely grateful to our treasurer Mr. N.K.Mehra for extending his valuable services & advice towards managing OCA finances. I would especially extend my heartiest gratitude to our very able Webmaster Mr. Anil Advani who has been successfully handling the OCA Website from the time of its inception and till date selflessly & tirelessly. Lastly our entire Committee deserves Kudos for being always present on time whenever called upon by our President..
Wishing Mr. D.S.Jaaj – Hony. President & his new team (w.e.f. 01.04.19) all the very best for their future endeavours and I am sure OCA India would touch greater heights under its new torch bearers who shall keep the OC spirit alive amongst all of us.
Secretary – OCA India