SECOND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING 2016-2017 | 28 JANUARY 2017
CONFERENCE HALL, SAINIK SCHOOL | 28 JANUARY 2017
1) Patron: Col A Rajiv 2053/90, Principal SSKZM
2) Admin. Officer: Lt Col B Girish Kumar 1928/89
3) OBA Master in Charge: Shri K Rajendran
4) President: Cdr Sam T Samuel IN (Retd) 637/75
5) Vice President: Col Sajjad M (Retd) 574/74
6) Vice President: Shri Soni Somarajan 2186/91
7) General Secretary: Shri VP Jain 2006/90
8) Treasurer: Shri Ram Mohan GS 2569/95
9) Organising Secretary : Shri Anup S 2297/92
10) Chairman Resource Mobilisation Committee: Brig Josekutty Kurian 596/74
11) Batch Representative (1976-80): Shri Prem C Pillai 768/77
12) Batch Representative (1991-1995): Capt Anish Nair 2382/93
13) Batch Representative (1996-2000): Shri Kamal Sankar 3470/00
The meeting commenced with a silent prayer in memory of our beloved teacher NBN and two members - Shri Indrabalan M (125 /68) and Shri Nandagopan (4527/2012) - who passed away during the period. The President, SSKZMOBA welcomed the members to the second EC meeting of the year. He began by highlighting the efforts made by the EC to make the OBA a strong entity by bringing the members closer through email, Whatsapp groups and the website. He said the website was coming up slowly but in a sure-footed manner with a number of features and, when fully operational, it would bring the OBs a lot closer. The EC then took up the following agenda points for discussion:
Agenda Point No 1: OBA Support to SSKZM (Lt Col B Girish Kumar)
(a)Payment of Dues by Students: Lt Col B Girish Kumar appreciated the contribution of the 1974 Batch towards the Students Scholarship Fund (SSF) and said that the burden on parents of scholarship holders is between Rs 40-45000/- by way of fees and last year there were 5 students who required help. Most of the dues were settled by the parents except for one student who had an outstanding amount of over Rs 38000/- which was settled by the 1992 Batch, the Organising Batch this year. He placed on record the gratitude of the student and the school to the 1992 Batch.
(b) Covered Shelter:A proposal for a covered monsoon shelter for physical training activities and playing Basketball was in the pipeline for some time. The construction by the PWD has now commenced. It is likely to be completed in two months time. In addition to this, a proposal was put up for additional shelters on the initiative of Capt Louis George IN (Retd). This was discussed in the OBA forum and one of the concerns was why the necessity has been felt now after so many students through the years have undergone training without the same. Lt Col B Girish Kumar explained the necessity of it due to lower standards of physical fitness of the students because of lack of adequate hours for PT and Games on one side and improved quality of food on the other. The President explained the problem of undertaking such big projects and the difficulty in getting it approved by the General Body.
(c) Ambulance for the School: The School had projected the requirement of an Ambulance for the MI room earlier and one of the OBs had volunteered to donate a second hand car for the same during the AGM. However this was not pursued further. Lt Col B Girish Kumar explained the necessity of the ambulance and requested the OBA help for the same. The President said that considering the state of OBA funds and the frequent requests by EC for contribution to the OBA community, it would be better if various contacts among the OBA was used to acquire a brand new ambulance and not a second hand vehicle. These could be officials in the Government, Old Boys heading various organisations or even Rotary Clubs etc. Brig Josekutty Kurian volunteered to work towards getting this vehicle for the school.
(d) Tractor with a Trailer and Additional Bowser: A multi-utility vehicle as in a Tractor with additional trailer and water bowser is required for the school. There are some cases of fires occurring during summer months for which fire engines are requisitioned. This causes bad publicity and parents get worried. Moreover, a bowser filled with water on standby is a requirement in emergency situations. A trailer available could make the carriage of rations and other items from place to place easier. A tractor could help in waste disposal and other horticulture requirements. Such a vehicle could be procured out of Army Commanders Special Financial Powers and the OBA could assist in acquisition. Brig Josekutty Kurian volunteered to try and help in this matter by speaking to one of the Army Commanders who is an alumnus of Sainik School Amaravathinagar. The President also suggested to tap the CSR funds of various private and public sector companies through OB contacts and also target Rotary and Lions Club etc.
(e) Born to Fly: Few copies of the book on late FO MP Anil Kumar by Nitin Sathe is available in the School for a price lesser than the market price and online purchase. Limited copies are available and OBs can purchase them from the School. The EC said there was no problem in opening a stall during OB Day for sales of the book. The problem of dispatching of the book would be there in case the OBs place a demand to the School. They would have to collect it directly.
(f) Organic Horticulture Project by 1992 Batch: The horticulture project - Project Sanjay - undertaken by the 1991 Batch is being continued by the 1992 Batch as well and they have asked for additional space for plantation. This has been done. Shri Soni Somarajan said that the plan of 1992 Batch is to get the plantation done so that it can be reaped by the OBA Reunion Day as was done by 1991 Batch. It was heartening to hear that the school is making use of the project to the fullest.
Agenda Point No 2: Report (General Secretary)
The General Secretary informed the quorum that actions have been completed on all points discussed during the 1st EC Meeting.
(a) A 10-year target was set to enhance the infrastructure, support staff, reputation and finance of the OBA. A sub-committee on resource mobilisation headed by Brig. Josekutty Kurien (Retd) was created. The Communication team was expanded to include Shri Kamal Sankar (3470/2000) to enhance social media presence. Shri Mithunraj (3318/2001) & Shri Ajay M (3830/2006) joined as admins of the Alumni website"www.sskzmoba.org". A step-by-step action document for registering online was prepared for the benefit of members and circulated.
(b) The overhead shelter for two Basketball courts as suggested by Capt Louis George IN (Retd) was discussed within our community. Lot of senior and junior Old Boys were critical to the venture. Joy Koruthu (241/68) proposed to launch a campaign to create a dedicated Corpus Fund account of minimum 1.0 crore by OBA Day 2018. Another suggestion came from Vinod Krishnan (1365/83) to form an Endowment similar to those run by Universities like Harvard.
(c) Water Purifiers in 11 dormitories plus one at Sainik School LP School were installed as per school design and requirement by the 1992 batch. The batch also repaired all the musical instruments (four harmonium and six violins).
(d) Nominations for Lifetime Achievement Awards & Annual Achievers of 2016 Awards with citation can be applied through batch representatives before 15/3/2017.
(e) Group Insurance Scheme was left to the prerogative of individuals /batches as OBA membership is heterogeneous and cosmopolitan.
(f) The OBA on its own with the support of School conducted the Capt Harshan Memorial Basketball Tournament & Col. NJ Nair Memorial Quiz Competition successfully this year.
(g) Family get together of Kazaks in Abu Dhabi, UAE was held on 20 January 2017.
(h) The development work on the Alumni website is complete and is live. The community portal has many features available that can function beyond a directory of OBs database. The 3 administrators of the website will guide other nominated members in performing the back end functions. Lt Cdr Naiju Thomas (Retd), the convener, is entrusted by the EC to depute individuals if required, and to perform various functions at the website eg: dissemination of important notices, MoMs, financial information, matters of general interest, achievements of OBs, obituary news etc. Batch reps also need to take forward the task of community building in a progressive manner. The convener can also identify and encourage senior specialist OBs to engage members in professional discussion on financial matters / stock and share, technology, medical science etc. A team of 2 or 3 IT experts from amongst OBs are required to suggest ways to reduce recurring charges to maintain the website and additional features that can be added /included and its cost implications.
Agenda Point No 3: Vision Document (Fundraising & Other Initiatives)
Col M Sajjad (Retd) explained that the General Secretary sent the Vision Document along with an Executive Summary to the OBA community through the e-mail group and different Whatsapp groups. However, it is not sure whether members have gone through these documents, as there was no response from anyone. Probably the reason may be that it got lost in the large number of messages/mails in the group. So, unless a system is evolved by which important subjects are mailed to the e-mail addresses of individual members and a feedback is sought from them, it would be difficult to know their opinions of such matters and move forward. Presently, when we seek opinion of members by posting a subject in a group we get comments, which are sometimes off hand and the whole debate gets sidetracked. There is a need to implement a procedure by which the executive members are tasked to send important messages to the e-mail ids of individual members and obtain their comments/feedback. This calls for a relook at the functioning of the OBA. Presently duties and responsibilities of only few appointments of the Executive Committee are laid down in the byelaws and therefore various appointments are not aware what their duties involve. It is recommended to allot specific duties to various appointments and make a hierarchy for functioning of the OBA EC. The following is suggested:
(a) Two Teams be formed under the two Vice Presidents (Team A and Team B).
(b) The two Joint Secretaries assist the two Vice Presidents in each of the two teams.
(c) The Vice President who is senior in Batch/Roll Number along with the senior Joint Secretary be responsible for the senior batches namely 1965-1970, 1972-1975, 1976-1980, 1981-1985 and 1986-1990. The other Vice President and Joint Secretary be responsible for the remaining batches namely 1991-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005, 2006-2010, 2010-2015 and 2016.
(d) The EC Batch Representatives to report all matters pertaining to the batches they are responsible for to the Joint Secretary and the Vice President of their respective Teams.
(e) EC Batch Representatives identify one batch representative from each of their batches to communicate important matters concerning OBA. Each individual batch member should collect the e-mail ids and mobile/Whatsapp numbers of their batch members and share it with the EC Batch Representatives. The EC Batch Representatives should share this information with the Joint Secretaries and Vice Presidents of their respective Teams. Further these should be shared with the Communication Cell and the Website Admins.
(f) The teams should initially work on getting the database updated and then integrate as a Team. This could be done by frequent meeting and exchange of mails.
(g) When the EC requires comments/opinions/feedbacks from members, this channel should be used effectively. Inactive members should be replaced immediately. Anyone who is unable to function due to work-related or health-related issues should bring it to the notice of Team leaders who should take immediate action.
(h) Vision document should be shared with individual members through this channel and their comments obtained. Similarly, resource mobilization effort also to be publicised through this channel.
(i) OBA Chapters is another forum to get opinions and feedbacks. Initially, we should identify places where we can have OBA Chapters and place them under the two Teams for coordination and communication. Some Chapters are already functioning efficiently. In addition we should help in creating other chapters as well.
The President OBA agreed to the suggestions and asked it to be implemented straightaway. He also suggested that there are provisions to send individual mails to people, which should be used effectively. About OBA Chapters being brought under OBA fold, he said it needs to be introduced in the AGM and passed. It was decided that first the Teams should interact with the Chapters, get them into the grid and then a resolution could be passed in the AGM.
Col M Sajjad (Retd) requested Brig Josekutty Kurian (Retd) to explain the plans he had in mind for resource mobilisation.
Resource Mobilisation: Brig Josekutty Kurian thanked the EC for reposing faith in him to carry out the task of resource mobilisation. He informed everyone that he has not been able to do much since the time he was made Chairman of the Committee on Resource Mobilisation in the last EC held in Oct 2016 due to his work commitments. His commitments are now over since he retired from SBI on 23 Jan 2017 and he promised to work wholeheartedly for the OBA. He requested the EC to grant him permission to bring in a few members of the OBA, namely: Shri Ram Mohan GS, Wg Cdr Padmaraj, Col Rajesh Nair and Capt Ramesh Babu (Retd). He said he will be talking to them personally and only after their willingness is obtained will they be coopted in the Resource Mobilisation Team. After he was given this task, he had made preparation to attend the Delhi Chapter get-together but at the last moment he could not attend the same due to a health issue. He had also made preparations to attend the Bangalore Chapter get-together, which was to be held in Nov 2016, but that got cancelled due to demise of NBN Sir. However, he had been interacting with some members and was aware of the apprehension they have in their minds about the capability of the OBA to manage funds and execute projects. Notwithstanding, the OBA should move forward and put systems in place so as to prevent any mishaps. The plan of action envisaged by him is as follows:-
(a) He has laid down a target of Rs 1 crore OBA funds by 31 Dec 2018.
(b) He requested the EC Batch Representatives to give him the email Ids of individual batch reps so that he could communicate with them directly.
(c) The aim is to get Rs 1 lakh per batch per year from each of the batches who passed out of the school from inception of OBA, until eight to ten years back, say till 2005 batch.
(d) Will attend various Chapter get-togethers and request for spot collection.
(e) Contribution of Rs 5000/- by life members for which appeal will be sent to all members by e-mail. Batch reps/ Communication Cell in-charge are requested to make available email ids of all OBA permanent members to Brig. Kurian for this purpose.
(f) Request members getting promoted to higher positions in various hierarchical organisations, eg Brigadier and above in Armed Forces, DGM and above in Banks, Directors and above in Central and State Govts etc, to contribute a certain amount at the time of their promotion.
(g) Batches celebrating Silver Jubilee or Golden Jubilee be asked to contribute to the OBA, either to Students Aid Fund (as the case of 74 batch recently) or OBA general fund for any project the particular batch may like to implement, of course through OBA.
(h) Individual Batch reps will be requested to assist in identifying members who are doing well in life and who are in a position to contribute a substantial amount to the OBA. Such individuals could be given the incentive to have endowments in their name or in the name of their parents, children or other relatives.
(i) Individual Batches should refrain from taking on projects by themselves although some excellent projects were undertaken by batches like the Project Shine by 1991 Batch. They may not be able to sustain them over longer periods. After all, we all would like to bring glory to the SSKZM and its alumni and not to individual batches or the individuals involved.
(j) Another avenue for getting revenue is by collectively using alumni expertise to undertake consultancy services. This would require more deliberations and fine-tuning.
(k) He asked the Principal if it is possible to lease some land for cultivation by the OBA to which the Principal said that the rules do not permit such leasing as the land does not belong to the school.
(l) If events like OBA Reunion or Chapter get-togethers are sponsored by some companies or businessmen (who are ex-Kazhaks or otherwise), the conducting batches/ chapter could contribute some amount to the OBA.
(m) OBA could also consider organizing public cultural events with the help of Old Boys who are celebrities or public figures or with the help of celebrities to whom our Old Boys have free access, eg Prithviraj, Indrajit, Mohanlal etc. Such an event could raise considerable amounts for the OBA.
The Principal and Patron of OBA, Col Rajiv was of the opinion that OBA should be able to directly help the School. The fund raising initiative is not going to directly help the school. Shri Soni Somarajan, the Vice President, explained that although there will be a time lag, the OBA would be able to do much more for the school because of this resource mobilisation than it was able to do earlier. We would be using the interest generated from the corpus rather than the principal amount and so the OBA would be able to help the school immediately on being requested.
Agenda Point No 4: OBA Reunion 2017 - 1992 Batch Plans
Shri Anup S, the Organising Secretary and 1992 Batch Rep, explained the activities planned by the Batch:
(a) They have already installed 12 water filters of higher capacity in all Dormitories and an additional one in Sainik School LP School.
(b) The repair of musical instruments undertaken by the Batch has been completed and the School Orchestra used these equipment along with new instruments sponsored by the 1992 batch during the Annual Day function.
(c) The Batch provided more than Rs 38000/- towards payment of dues of one of the cadets whose parents were unable to pay the fees. This was done because the Students Scholarship Fund did not have sufficient interest amount to cater for this. The Batch had collected Rs 60000/- towards this and so there is still some balance left, which can be utilised next year. It was suggested that the amount be deposited in the SSF.
(d) The batch proposes to furnish the music clubroom, including adding a new cupboard, and upgrading the flooring surface.
(e) The horticulture project started by the 1991 Batch is being continued. A nursery for plants is being created in the campus so that they would not have to get seedlings from outside. The project will start in March so that it is completed by July before the OBA Day.
(f) The Batch intends to do two Ignite Sessions before the OBA Day in consultation with the school authorities. The Principal suggested one at the end of March and the other in July.
(g) The detailed programme on the OBA Day has yet to be worked out. The President insisted that the AGM should be held during the morning hours before lunch and the other events should be planned in such a way that adequate time of about two and a half hours are available for the AGM as this is the most important event during OBA Day.
(h) The Organising Batch would like to go ahead with the GKM this year on behalf of the OBA. The venue and the programme are yet be be finalised. They requested the support of the EC for its conduct and OBA President promised all help.
Agenda Point No 5: OBA's Tribute to NBN
The President OBA expressed his personal view that since NBN was a Teacher and was an exemplary Teacher, any project in his memory should involve the Teachers of the School. He also was in favour of an unedited book in memory of NBN where all those who were influenced by NBN wrote about him even if it a line or a paragraph or an incident.
Col A Rajiv, the Principal suggested that a Chemistry model room be set up outside the Chemistry Laboratory like the one created near the Physics Laboratory.
Further discussion on the subject took place and the final decision taken was to form a committee of old boys with people like Maj Gen KS Venugopal, Brig Josekutty Kurian and others who will consult a cross section of old boys, school management, teachers, staff, his son Pradeep and come up with ideas to create an endowment in the name of NBN to carry on with various activities that NBN thought was the responsibility of every teacher. The committee can come out with a proposal, which can then be put forward in the AGM, and a decision taken as to the direction to be followed.
Agenda Point No 6: LTA and AOY Awards
The Presiding Officer of the Committee could not be present due to certain unavoidable circumstances. However, the Committee met twice under Shri Suresh Bhaskaran and as far as the LTA is concerned, a list of nominees has been prepared. Some citations are ready and these have to be again considered. The Batch Reps have been told to identify achievers for AOY. In the last year’s AGM it was minuted that the EC should decide whether the LTA Award should be named after Late Shri PC Satish Chandran. It was decided that the award be dedicated in the name of Shri PC Satish Chandran.
Agenda Point No 7: SSF Requests from School Authorities
The previous requests from the school have been settled and at present there are no outstanding dues from students.
Agenda Point No 8: Life Membership - Class XII Students
The Administrative Officer confirmed that the life membership of class XII Students will be taken up with the parents and after their consent action will be taken to enroll them and get the membership fees.
Agenda Point No 9: Office Admin Software to Update Alumni Details
The importance of creating such a software has been accepted by all and it was decided that a Committee comprising of the Old General Secretary, the new General Secretary and Ajay Muralidharan and some other member who is an expert in IT go into this aspect and identify the documents which are to be digitised/automated and the manner in which it is to be done. Intention is to maintain all details related to alumni, registration during OB reunion day etc in digital format. Updation of life members and departed souls was also stressed. Archiving all EC reports and Bulletins were to be done in a phased manner.
Agenda Point No 10: Statement of Accounts
The Scholarship Fund has a balance of 13.65 lakhs after the contribution from the 1974 Batch. The OBA General fund has approximately 32 lakhs including the amount parked for humanitarian needs. The excess of income over expenditure as on 27 Jan 2017 was Rs 1,03,000/-. About Rs 98000/- is to be paid to the school for conduct of the Capt Harshan Memorial Basketball Tournament and the Col NJ Nair Memorial Quiz. There is an additional expenditure of about Rs 17000/- for web hosting of the OBA website. The Treasurer sought the approval of the OBA to open two new accounts with the SBT one for the SSF and the other for the OBA General Fund. The EC passed the resolution.
Agenda Point No 11: Golden Jubilee of OBA
Preparations for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the OBA should commence immediately after the OBA Day for this year. The 1995 Batch will be conducting the Golden Jubilee OBA.
Agenda Point No 12: Farewell to former Vice Principal
Farewell by the OBA to former Vice Principal Lt Cdr Girish Gopidas would be arranged as per the available dates of the officer who is stationed in Chennai.
Points from the Patron Col A Rajiv 2053/90, Principal SSKZM
The Patron thanked the 1974 Batch for their contribution to the SSF and the 1991 Batch for sending the 7 students from Project Shine. They are doing very well and one of them performed very well on stage during the Annual Day function. He also thanked the 1992 Batch for the installation of water purifiers cum cooler and repair of musical instruments. He said that there was a need to revive the School Bulletin, which the Master in charge Shri Rajendran said he would take on the initial one. Need for a Doctor for the school was highlighted as the present Doctor is retiring soon and there is no provision for a Doctor in the School authorisation. He requested if the OBA could help in this regards.
The President, SSKZMOBA, thanked the members and adjourned the meeting.
It was decided to hold the 3rd EC meeting on 8 April 2017.