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RKM alumni reminisce good old student days

Rama Subramaniam, a 92-year-old, sat quietly in a fast-filling hall. He looked around keenly to spot any of his classmates. Part of the first batch of the Ramakrishna Mission School in 1932, his face glowed as he recalled his school boy days. Flashing a smile now and then, his wrinkled face lit up as he recounted the time. He said, “I owe all that I achieved to my alma mater.”

RKM alumni reminisce good old student days
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The alumni enjoy a talk by one of their members on Sunday
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Chennai

His son Balasubramaniam joined him. An alumnus from the 1975 batch, the father-son duo was one among the 1,000 and more alumni who had assembled for third reunion on the Alumni Day on Sunday. 

The yearly affair brought together past students of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama & Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Schools Alumni Association. From those in their 90s to the most recent pass outs, the crowd assembled included bureaucrats, engineers, service professionals, entrepreneurs, etc.

Dr Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, textile industrialist and another alumnus recollected his memories from when he was in Class 3, as if it happened just yesterday. “I have vivid memories of the year. It was 1947 when I joined the school. I used to be quite good at mathematics,” he said with a glint in his eye. “I did not have anybody to guide me. It was the school headmasters and teachers who helped me cross the long journey of a student through their teaching methods,” said Chetti. 

“They would allot just five minutes for a lesson but would engage our attention through stories and we picked up all that they taught with ease. In fact, even the prayer hall taught me a lot. I found a lot of guidance in every step here.”

The school’s alumni association was formed almost 18 years ago. The Alumni Day, a reunion held in September, is aimed at making the alumni bond better. As part of the meet, cultural programmes were held and distinguished alumni were honoured. This year, IAS officer MR Sivaraman IAS and director of TAFE PB Sampath were recognised for their services in the respective fields.

Cherishing the honour, Sivaraman, who studied in the school between 1949 and 1955, said, “I learnt values like being truthful here and many times when I was confronted with issues — some big ones during my career — truth helped me prevail over it. Those were the days, when we were taught ‘sanskaar’ and morality was emphasised a lot as part of education.”

D Chandrasekar, vice president of the managing committee of the alumni association, an lumnus from 1964 batch, said that efforts are being made to make the event bigger every year. “We have been working on contacting the alumni settled across the world through social media and our website,” he said.

Started in 1932, when the boys school was set up, the school branched out as a main school, North branch and South Branch in the neighbourhood over the years.

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