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3 years on, November 30, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in contemplation, littlerockers.

This mail dated Nov 30, 2003 was in some sense the beginning.

Dear Friends,

I am Sharath Rao, Class of 1997, Little Rock. I am writing to you as alumnus of Little Rock. This mail is about a possible ALUMNI meeting of the Little Rock Indian School sometime in June 2004. Ofcourse an alumni meeting is not something that can be ‘announced’. Especially since this will be the first ever meeting of its kind, it is something whose details have to be discussed before arriving at a decision of this kind.

This topic came up during one of my recent visit to Little Rock when Madam ( Lali Mathew ) mentioned about a grand Silver Jubilee ( 25 years ) in 2007. She then added that its good to have a meeting before that..perhaps as early as June 2004. She said that Little Rock will provide every kind of support for a meeting of this kind.

However, it would be much easier if we alumnus can play a role in getting in touch with people and establishing a network before the first ever meeting. I personally feel its definitely feasible to get around and track down the Class of 1997. By this I mean anybody who in 1996-97 was in Class X and is a Little Rocker. It might somebody who left LRIS before 1996 or joined LRIS after 1996. I have started a yahoogroups ( littlerock_1997 ) so that the process of communicating becomes easier. Of the many people I am sending this mail to, several do not either have a yahoo ID or havent made it known. Therefore, I request you all to mail me your yahoo IDs so that you can become a part of the group and start receiving mails. I do hope that this idea of an alumni meet/ association finds supporters among you. Anytime you come across our batchmates, please mail me their IDs or recommend them to get in touch with me so that their IDs can be authorized to receive and send mails, post photographs etc.

In anticipation
Sharath Rao
( http://www.geocities.com/raosharathonline )

I exactly remember my state of mind when I sent out that mail – cautiously hopeful. It was my first attempt at any kind of organization building if one might call it so. I wasnt exactly sure if people would heed to the above proposal. I thought more than the proposal itself (which wasnt at all unreasonable), the source of the proposal might rub people the wrong way. Although I did have a great time at school, over the years I had learnt of having been tagged (not entirely incorrectly) by my peers as having a disproportionately high nuisance value, arrogance value and such. I did think then that in starting off the alumni group, it was the wrong person doing the right thing.

Nevertheless, things happened, a lot happened in 3 years with a lot of help from people, mostly Ashith.

And the Orkut group saw a phenomenal group going from 30 in Nov 2004 to 100 in Nov 2005 to nearly 960 in Nov 2006 !! ( Ofcourse, no personal effort went into building the Orkut group, which largely built itself.)

That apart, quite a bit will happen in 2 weeks from now. From here.

Our website sees new registrations of our alumni every day. A vast number of old students are planning to come for the Alumni Reunion on December 16 and 17. I find that there are many coming even from distant cities in India, and some even from foreign countries to be here on this historic occasion. We are really overwhelmed by the response. We are indeed proud of our old students, much the same way as you are proud of your Little Rock.

I have no words to describe how unfortunate it is that I cannot make it to this event. Hopefully I will live long enough to make the 50th anniversary in 2031 🙂

Looking back this whole set of activities pertaining to the LRIS alumni network that I involved myself in, few hundred mails/phone calls/SMSs, the time and energy that went into it, will remain one of those things to feel good about. Earlier this year I felt that its all stabilized – things had got to a point where they became self-sustaining – we convinced several other batches to start off their own groups which were doing well. Since then I have been looking for something else, some other cause that is not necessarily/at all grandiose (spketicism tends to be directly proportional to the grandiosity and utopian nature of the task), that is within my reach and that is largely self-less ( no matter how narrowly the word is defined) and that wich is worth the time and the kind of passion that went into helping build the alumni network.



1. Aswin Cletus D'Souza - December 1, 2006

Pity you can’t make it to the alumni meet … considering that it’s your own efforts which brought all the alummni together in the first place!

Congrats on the great achievement by the way … I have totally forgotten about the lris blogspot site that i am supposed to be updating 😛 . Will post once this hectic semester gets over.

2. Sharath Rao - December 1, 2006

hey thanks aswin ! its really good to see things working out on the alumni front no doubts…

from the US ashith and sunil borkar are making it …none else i know of

3. Revival Redux « Epistles - June 16, 2007

[…] (where people just have to show up/sign up rather than actually invest more time) in terms of alumni networks have been successful, organic growth through Orkut has been even more successful but getting a handful of people to work […]

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