Thank You OCA Delhi: Kuttu Singh, Ash, Sunny (Chetan) for making this small group invite, a lovely evening at Tonino’s yesterday ( Saturday 10th Sep 2022). Great interaction with Director Simon , Communication Director Rebecca on “ what’s happened, happening and will happen at BCS! ).
We at OCA,India have received a communication from Mr.Simon Weale,Director,Bishop Cotton School requesting OCA, India to kindly come forward and help Mr. Rajiv Mehrotra,the Bursar at Bishop Cotton School.
Mr.Mehrotra has been diagnosed with Cancer the treatment for which is expected to cost approximately 40 lacs.This is creating an immense amount of financial stress on him, and as such he would end up exhausting his life savings. May I request you on behalf of the President and the Executive Committee of OCA,India to kindly make a generous contribution to help Mr. Mehrotra overcome this financial challenge.
Kindly make your deposit into the following account:
Old Cottonians Association India HDFC Bank Account No:SB-Institution-00921450000562 RTGS/NEFT IFSC:HDFC000092
Greatful if after making the deposit you could kindly intimate OC Dhiraj Berry,Treasurer,OCA,India by sending him a copy of the deposit slip at email@example.com You can also avail income tax rebate under section 80 G of the Income Tax Act.
Thanking you in advance for your help and assistance. Wishing you a great week ahead.
Ajay Thiara Secretary OCA,India
Some OCs have consented to have their messages posted verbatim. These are being added below. The other messages remain unpublished – We respect the privacy and uphold confidentiality if so requested by any OC. Though they all reflect similar thoughts as are being quoted below.
In my opinion such costs should come from the group insurance that BCS should have in place for all BCS staff, or should be met from BCS funds.
BCS being predominantly responsible to have such measures in place for the welfare and wellbeing of its employees / staff.
Sincerely Anil Advani [BCS 1960-70]
The financial crisis confronting a school teacher is not new. In the case of a teacher in service, the plight is “less” severe since there are colleagues and senior employees who will be sympathetic to his cause. They know him and this is just what has happened with the Director seeking funds from the Old Boys association.
Going back further, I recall Mr Roshan Lal, the former Hindi teacher at an OC lunch, literally hands outstretched, seeking any kind of relief. None was rendered. Besides, Hindi teaching ranked so much lower in “class” both with the boys, even his students, and his former peers. It was a pathetic sight. Some years later his condition and his poverty became so severe that pity finally overtook some students who built a shelter for him and provided for his mentally challenged son. The man and his son died under conditions that are indescribable. We showed no humanity.
About three years ago, I requested the OCA President for assistance for an OC in distress. The response was in all such cases the class to which the OC belonged should do crowd funding themselves since this is what the class of 1962 did for Umesh Dutta, one of their colleagues. I reminded him that the fund had been initiated by me and I had contributed as well though I passed out in the following year of 1963. The OCA did nothing
So, the OCA is not exactly sympathetic to either members of its association or giving and generous to staff members. The exception was Mrs Kabir Mustafi’s wife where the students who knew them gathered to collect funds and garnered a considerable amount even though most knew her condition to be a hopeless one.
In the case of an existing employee, he should, you rightly observe, be covered by a medical insurance scheme. That would operate to assist in just such a case without any burden or obligation on anyone else.
Secondly, the need for a benevolent fund has been raised ever so often both for the staff and former students, it is for the OCA to take this initiative. I have tried hard but got nowhere for a variety of reasons.
Finally, the OCA has forwarded funds to the School and it is important that purpose and utility of such amounts stand allocated to causes such as this one. We did that so well for Mrs DeMello, if you recall.
Given the above, I am not sure that there will be many willing to contribute unless they are or were his students but to send the hat around again and again is an effort with diminishing returns. We need a proper fund in place with its scope, purpose and method of collection and disbursement well established.
Dear Old Cottonians,
Plans are now well advanced for a BCS U15 cricket tour to the UK this summer from 8th-21st June 2022. We are just waiting for our visas.
We are hoping to bring 33 boys on tour and to play a series of matches against a number of the top independent schools in the South of England.
Our current itinerary includes the following fixtures
9th June v Westminster School
10th June v Culford School
13th June v Merchant Taylors’ School
14th June v Eton College
16th June v Aldenham School
17th June v Forest School
20th June v Marlborough College
OCs will be welcome to come and watch matches (a full programme will be published closer to the time). On the evening of the 16th June we are hoping that an OC XI will play the Aldenham School Headmaster’s XI at Aldenham.
If you are interested in playing in the match or in contributing towards tour funds please contact the school by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought I would update you with news of life at school.
The best thing is that we have pupils back in school.Having ‘locked down’ last March, we were allowed to welcome back senior students from mid-February. There are now just over three hundred boys on the campus from Class VI to Class XII.
You can imagine this presents many challenges at the moment.
Indian Board exams have been put back by a couple of months so there has been an opportunity for the outgoing Class XII to enjoy some time together.The outgoing Class X arrive back this weekend. Necessity has meant that we are accommodating boys in Class ‘bubbles’.Boys of the same age eat, sleep, study and play together.
We are ensuring that there is regular testing of staff and a number of colleagues have already been vaccinated.I am getting my first jab on the 1st April.
The ‘’outgoing’ and ‘new’ Class XII are together in Curzon. The ‘new’ Class X are moving to Lefroy and the outgoing Class X will be in Rivaz. Classes VI to IX are in separate dormitories in the Junior School.It will be some time before the ‘House system’ can return to normal and different classes can share dorms.
The boys had to present a negative pcr test when they returned to school.They have to wear masks around the school site and avoid mixing with other classes.Their interaction with adults has to be strictly controlled. However, it is evident that they are mostly very happy to be back at school.The spring weather in Shimla has been beautiful and the boys have enjoyed lots of sport and activity.We have been trying to update photos regularly on our ‘Facebook’ page.
The current rise in Covid cases in India means that we will continue to face challenges.The Himachal Government whilst restricting the opening of many educational institutes, are currently allowing Boarding schools to keep their students at school.We are working with both them and the medical authorities to ensure we can keep things running smoothly.I think there is an overwhelming case for the benefits outweighing the disadvantages of residential students being back in school in the pandemic.It was noticeable how much weight many of our pupils had put on during their year away from school and it is pleasing how quickly they are embracing a healthier lifestyle.
We have welcomed many OCs back to the campus over the last year, but it is difficult at the moment to meet these requests as we must try our best to reduce unnecessary entry into the campus. Please bear with us in the next few months as we love to welcome alumni back to school.