Hyderabad: Distance makes the heart grow fonder. This can be said about the Hyderabad-based NRIs pining for their alma mater. They might have missed the grand centenary celebrations of Osmania University back home, but they decided to recreate the thrill in their host country.
The other day about 700 Osmanians took time off to attend the OU centenary fest at Shalimar Banquets, Chicago. The programme organised by Glory of Hyderabad drew young and not-so-young Osmanians from all over New York, Houston, San Francisco, Minnesota and Indiana. Incidentally, Glory of Hyderabad, Chicago, became the only organisation outside India to host the first historic event of Centenary Celebration of Osmania University.
It was a trip down the memory lane for some while for others a grand reunion of sorts. What added to the festive mood was an innovative exhibition, an inspiring documentary and an informative souvenir. Many turned emotional recalling their eventful times in the University and their loving teachers and great friends.
Everyone remembered Mir Osman Ali Khan, the 7th Nizam and founder of the Osmania University. There were also references to illustrious alumni like former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil, film personality Sham Benegal and former RBI Governor Dr Y V Reddy.
Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India in Chicago, described OU alumni as the ‘greatest strength’. She called upon them to cultivate the culture of giving back – which is the most rewarding ways to contribute to the betterment of their alma mater.
Professor S Ramachandram, Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, said that the University had emerged as a pacesetter, becoming an icon of higher learning with international outlook and global outreach. Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy underscored the need for greater collaboration between the universities of India and the US. Hardik Bhatt, CIO, office of the Governor, Illinois, informed that Illinois and Telangana States have signed an MoU to share expertise in the domain of planning and execution of smart cities.
Many Osmanians were honoured on the occasion. Hassan Chishti was given the lifetime achievement award for outstanding community service and literary contribution while Dr MM Taqui Khan was bestowed with the scientist of international repute award. On this occasion, Siasat Calligraphy Exhibition was also inaugurated. Ashfaq Syed, Chairman Steering Committee, Glory of Hyderabad, welcomed the gathering.