BITS Pilani Batch of 85 Raise Fund for a Batchmate, For Entire Life!
The agony and trauma of Seema Sood, has brought together her batch of 1985 scattered all over the world. She is an alumna of Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, who was afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis 21 years back when she was a student,
Soon after a news in media highlighted the fact that she had petitioned for the right to die again, now after a period of 6 years, Seema’s former classmates began raising funds to support her for her life. Former students settled in Mumbai, Jammu, Hyderabad, Europe, US, and the Gulf have come up as a BITS family to take care of Seema. Many of them have not met her or even spoken to her while she was a student, owing to the large number of 550 students in a batch.
They are working out the modalities of setting up a corpus that can also be used for other alumni who are needy. One of them actually drove down 230 km from Jammu to Palampur, just to meet her and hand over a contribution of Rs.1.15 lakh. Palampur is Seema’s native place,.
BVP Raju, who is working in Hyderabad and belongs to the 1985 batch, said, “This is the stage of life now, when we have time. Initially at the start of our career, we were madly engrossed in making a place for ourselves. Seema’s case has come as a rude wake up call for us all. There might be so many Seemas. Thus, we have decided to create a fund which can provide financial support”.
Sanjay Gupta, the batchmate who drove from Jammu, said, “Four of us got in touch and have initially contributed a small amount of Rs.1.15 lakh. Now Seema can resume her medication and other things for 2 months. Later, our batch will be meeting at our silver jubilee at BITS, in this October. There we will devise a strategy on how to transfer the money to her so that it not misused in any form. I got a mail from a 1974 batch student Vijay Kanchan from Kuala Lumpur after he read this story in the newspaper. He is willing to donate Rs.1 lakh for Seema.”
Apart from financial support, few of them have mailed her to encourage her to live on. N Muthuram, a batchmate from Mumbai, said, “We did speak to her family members as well. Seema needs around Rs.50, 000 monthly to meet her medical outlays. We have asked her not to give up as we are all with her”.
Smita Kolhatkar, a batchmate who is working in California, said, “Seema had written to me for help in sheer desperation and embarrassment. As we were together in the same course, she must have felt at ease to discuss her issues.”