Gathering 10s for a 100:
To contrive an event as ostentatious as the University Foundation Day for a university as huge as DDU can be a task as long and tedious as forming highly ignitable anthracite from fossils. But at a well-structured organization like DDU at which planning and management as an implicit criterion for any task, the most herculean undertakings take the most lucid turns. So was the case with University Foundation Day celebration. The matter was on the anvil since the month of September, 2012. The walls of the Admin building at DDU were the enclosing interfaces for the one of the biggest plans, one of them being – ‘creating the Guinness World Record of maximum number of people pledging their eyes for donation in 8 hours’. The matter was planned rigorously for over two months and the word was let out in December, 2012 once the odd-semester exams were over. As soon as the word spread in the university, all the streams and their departments in DDU united for the philanthropic cause. The data of students was collected and verified, class-to-class announcements were conducted to spread awareness for the idea and finally consent forms were circulated to take consent of the students who wished to pledge the eyes and contribute in the making of a history. Contacting the officials at Guinness Book of World Records, coordinating the eye-pledging event with E.B.A.I (Eye Bank Association of India) and some legal procedure constituted the fermentation of the dough for the glorious cake of 1st January, 2013. The DDU Connect Team and the Spandan Team joined the DDU Management as the volunteers and stewards of the big day in DDU. Just like a well-planned event’s control flows, everything for ‘THE BIG DAY’ in DDU was done by 31st January, 2012 and it was about time to welcome 2013 with a BIG BANG in DDU.
Dawn of 1st January, 2013
The stage was set and the university campus was decorated in a pompous way. There were in all 20 booths for the students and two guest booths for the DDU Alumni, Faculties and other guests. The booths were provided with 3D pledge cards which were to be given once the person has pledged his/her eyes. The Technical Desk, which constituted of students and faculties from IC Department who had made the digital pledge counter too were ready with the technical arrangements. Now, the only thing that was left to do was to signal the commencement of this occasion and kick start the new year with a noble cause. The first ones to line up on the booths were the students from the Faculty of Commerce. To make the beginning of this auspicious occasion, respected Vice Chancellor Dr. H.M. Desai and all the university authorities were present at the center foyer. Once all the things were in ready and in place, the Vice Chancellor rung the bell exactly at 9:00 AM which marked the start of the pledge-taking and the rest was ready to be party of history!
Inaugurating the august gathering
While pledging continued in the booths on one hand, it was time for the formal inauguration ceremony of the University Foundation Day. The dignitaries who graced the inauguration with their presence included Mr. Dinsha Patel, Honorable Union Cabinet Minister for Mines, Dr. N.D. Desai, President of D.D.University Foundation and Dr. H.M. Desai, Vice Chancellor of D.D. University. After welcoming Mr. Dinsha Patel and Dr. N.D. Desai in the function, Dr. H.M. Desai addressed the gathering in which he congratulated one and all associated with DDU for making an event like the University Foundation Day along with making a World Record possible. Amidst his speech, there was a sudden uproar and cheerful hooting from the opposite garden area and in no time the celebration material and ribbons from the party bombs were seen. Yes! DDU had broken the world-record for ‘maximum number of people pledging their eyes for donation in 8 hours’. One and all present at the inauguration ceremony got up from their seats, applauded and raised their hands up in joy… DDU was on Cloud 9 at that moment! The Vice-Chancellor formally congratulated all for this historic feat and declared that it was made tangible in just a matter of 1 hour and 52 minutes. Later then, Mr. Dinsha Patel addressed the people and said that he was proud that the university had undertaken such a noble cause on such an enormous scale. He also added that as a Member of Parliament from the Kheda District, he will approach the Health Minister and possibly the Prime Minister to inform them about D.D.U’s this epoch-making initiative in arena of social consciousness. After that Dr. N.D. Desai delivered his speech in which he overtly praised the students and staff at DDU saying that never had such a big thing happened in DDU since its foundation had been laid and it had been because of the students and the DDU staff that the world could see a history being created. This was followed by unveiling the Journal for Research in Technology and Management, a novel research publication started by DDU ratifying its commitment and prowess in the area of innovation. Vote of thanks delivered by Registrar of the university Prof. R.K. Jain marked the end of the inauguration ceremony.
Record Breaking Moment
Once the event commenced, there was no stopping to the flood of pledges. The pledge counter was shooting up at a lightening pace. The previous Guinness Book of World record was 2262 pledges and within no time at around 10:51 AM, the counter showed 2250 which was enough to pull the crowd together. Just as the counter showed 2263 at 10:52AM, the crowd burst into joy, party and ribbon bombs were blown and the feeling of pride was in the air. The students, the faculties present over their start clapping, shouting in joy, some had tears in their eyes while some were just too happy to witness this occasion! The atmosphere was full of joy once the record was broken. The media was present at the campus to record this epic moment. The journalists interacted with the students, some were lucky enough to be telecasted on air. Many of them were playing with the Eye pledge mascot (a suggestion by Prof. Anjali Thakur) which was put up in the garden. Post the inauguration ceremony, the center foyer was occupied by the talented DDU singers showcasing their talent. Moreover, the students from Faculty of Commerce had prepared a skit on a social topic. While all these activities were on, the students continued to take the pledge on the booths.
The Under-privileged students visit DDU
The event can never be complete without the real heroes. A total of 11 students devoid of eyesight from Blind People’s Association, Ahmedabad visited the DDU campus. The students had an awesome time with the people in the university. The sight-devoid students played games, shared their talks and their faces shone with a smile. On the other side the DDU students gifted those with chocolates, toffees and were more than happy to click pictures with them. During all this, DDUians realized how lucky they were to see this beautiful world!
Descending at the Dusk
The day was about to end, the sun had pacified with the relentless efforts of one and all at DDU to make an unprecedented opus. The clock struck 5 and Dr. H.M. Desai rung the bell at the center foyer marking the end of pledging time of 8 hours. The final figure on the pledge counter showed an exalted figure of 4698 pledges. Everyone was elated in joy as the previous record of 2262 pledges was crushed with more than double margin! The Vice-Chancellor gave a short-speech in which he once-again lauded the efforts of everyone at DDU in making the uphill task a magnanimous success.
An Informal Parade: A Procession to celebrate the grandest occasion in the grandest manner
The event was over and now it was time for a celebration in the university. Analogous to the event, the post celebration was equally grand! The DDU Connect team had planned an informal parade across the campus to commemorate the making of the history. The parade started with the formation of the tri-color flag in which saffron color was represented by the Faculty of Technology, white by the Faculty of Pharmacy and green by the Faculty of Commerce. This parade was led by the NCC cadets who were followed by the S.R.P. Band who played the tunes to dance and rejoice upon. After the band, the whole tri-color flag constituted by students followed. At the end there was a grand horse chariot in which the blind students were seated. The procession started from the gate near the Multi-Media Hall and once it reached center foyer, the Vice Chancellor of the university along with the authorities joined the parade. As the procession proceeded, it was joined by other students on its way. The 1st year students from FoT who had just finished the last paper of their external exams hurriedly joined the procession to celebrate both – the end of the exams and creation of a world record. Then it was a sight to remember! The whole university was dancing on the Bollywood numbers played by the band. As the procession reached the university gate, the aged gate-keepers there too couldn’t refrain from being a part of this unprecedented scene at DDU and joined in to dance. There were party bombs being blown, people were hugging each other out of sheer joy and happiness. The parade passed the Admin Building, the Civil Department and reached back to the Center Foyer. At the end, the university students formed a circle and started our very own ‘garba’ around the planted circle near the center foyer. The sight of people enjoying just brought tears out of the DDU Connect Team and the respective authorities involved in this event because it is always the best sight to see your efforts being paid off!
Ending up at Cloud 9:
The event ended with the Vice Chancellor addressing the students who were just done rejoicing in the parade. Everyone released the official Guinness Book balloons which brought an end to the University Foundation Day, the most epic event ever in DDU. The main reason of the event being so special was not the grand parade or the Guinness World Record being broken but it was the social motive behind this event. The social awareness that was created which was clearly reflected on those 4698 odd people who pledged their eyes and proved that how responsible citizens they were! With this event the society just got a hope that the unfortunate blind people will be able to see the beautiful world one day!
Partying on the “Boulevard” of Success
A grand occasion like DDU Foundation Day combined with a World record deserved an equally grand party for the organizers. Post event on 1st Jan, in their adrenaline rush the Spandan Team made uproar of “Party” in unison which was later joined by Team Connect. Registrar, DDU and Dean, FoT took no time in addressing this request and instantly agreed. When the Registrar asked about venue of the party someone from either of the teams just popped the suggestion of “Boulevard 9”, a grand resort just in a juvenile tone. The person had no idea or intent for it to be taken seriously. But to his and everyone’s amazement, the authorities agreed for a grand treat in Boulevard 9 for Team Connect and Spandan Team who had joined hands with DDU Management to make 1st January a success! Recently on 19th January, 2013 this treat was a perceivable reality for Team Connect and the Spandan Team. Both the teams had a gala team at Boulevard 9 combined with a sumptuous lunch. The occasion was more than make believe for the teams. But with a management as generous and considerate as DDU’s, dreams don’t take more time to turn into reality. Team Connect and the Spandan team convey their sincerest gratitude to respected Vice Chancellor Dr. H.M. Desai, Registrar Prof. R.K. Jain and Dean FoT Prof. D.G. Panchal for their warm and giving gesture.