Not for Fame, Not for Wealth, Our Endeavour,
Pride of Race, Nor of Creed be our Boast,
Each for All, All for Each, Thus Forever
United from Coast unto Coast
Three Cheers for the Silver and Blue

Excerpt from the College Anthem
‘Silver & Blue’

Our History

OPTAA was formed as a result of concerted efforts of many CMC PT and OT alumni. There was a long latent period and acute need for the organization of alumni members. But for various reasons, the formal alumni association never materialized prior to 2011. The PT and OT alumni’s in various countries gathered informally at various locations. It was in the year 2003, CMC Vellore has seen an organization of Occupational and Physiotherapy Alumni (OPTA) reunion meeting. Mr. Raj Kumar & Mr. Sunder Kumar served as the organizing secretaries.

There were voluntary contributions from alumni in India and abroad to conduct the reunion. Mr. Vijaykumar and Mr. Ramanathan were entrusted with the responsibility to look after the accounts. They have started a bank account in the Central Bank. The organizers managed the reunion and generated a balance account of about Rs. 1, 65,000. Later when Mr. Ramanathan left the institution for higher studies, the responsibility was handed over to Mr. Sanjeev Padankatti.
Few therapists in the USA launched the idea of having a common media of networking through Yahoo groups. The networking platform was initiated and managed by Mr. Ruby Nakka. This networking continued for some time with effective and productive dialogues. But no formal association activities were registered. Annual gatherings in the USA were initiated and conducted for couple of years. Later on the site was closed down.

The thought of forming a formal association continued to linger among alumni, and finally in March 2011, an ad-hoc committee was formed under the leadership of Mr. Thomas Mathew in Vellore, to formulate the constitution and structure for the alumni association. After numerous consultations and deliberations, the new alumni association was named OPTAA (Occupational Physiotherapy and Alumni Association). The ad-hoc committee initiated and shouldered the responsibility of conducting the OPTSA silver jubilee and formulated constitution and objectives of the new association. After completing all CMC formalities and approvals, the new association was formally inaugurated by Dr. Sunil Chandy, then Director of CMC, on 25th November 2011 at 2:30pm, at the OPTSA silver jubilee celebrations. It was followed by scientific sessions conducted by alumni Mr. Leonard Boris (Canada) and Mr. Alexander Ring (Australia).

The previous OPTA account in the bank was closed and a new account was started in the Central Bank with the new name OPTAA. A finance policy and committee was formulated with members Mr. Sanjeev Padanketti, Mr. Babu Samuel, Mr. Lenny Vasanthan, Mr. David Paulraj and Mr. Akhilesh M. Mr. David Paulraj functioned as the chief treasurer for the OPTSA silver jubilee, 2011. The inauguration of the new formal alumni association was intimated to all possible alumni contact numbers gathered from the department and friends circle. The inauguration ceremony was also videotaped and webcasting was done through multimedia. Lots of encouraging and enthusiastic messages were received, and with about 62 registered members (India and abroad), the first General Body meeting of the newly formed alumni association was conducted on November 26th, 2011 at CHTC auditorium in CMC, Vellore. The constitution was approved by the general body. The general body also elected members for the first Executive Committee; President: Mr. Thomas Mathew, Vice President: Mr. Babu Samuel, General Secretary: Mr Ruby Nakka, Treasurer: Mr. Charles Joshua, Program Secretary: Ms. Jewel Crasta

The main objective of the first executive committee was to strengthen the membership and develop activities and programs to improve networking and communications between the college and the alumni’s all over the world. The Executive Committee worked on designing and printing all needed stationeries and coordinated and provided a platform for information exchange between CMC and alumni elsewhere. The audited accounts were maintained in the Central Bank. Some of the areas of development discussed and initiated were research scholarships, overseas exchange program, hosting conferences and seminars, subscription for journals and periodicals, library and book purchases, inviting guest lecturers (especially alumni experts), purchased equipment and tools, student scholarships. The third executive committee could successfully arrange a re-union in the year 2016. Around 20 alumni turned from various countries. The reunion included career guidance program by Mr. Kalaiselvan and Mr. Reejan Pradeep.

The formation of an association for CMC PT and OT alumni was long awaited and now a reality. A lot of thoughts and hard work been invested into it. The objective of the alumni association states “Our efforts are to preserve and promote all that is of enduring value in the relationship of the OT and PT alumni of CMC Vellore, among themselves and with their college and to foster the welfare and progress of their alma mater”. It is a need of the hour and a responsibility of each one of the alumni to understand and participate in the functioning of the association. It is vital that we locate leaders with commitment and dedication from time to time to lead and guide the association in view of the objectives. Currently the need is transformation of many members from a passive role to an active role play for greater good. This should make each one of us responsible to hold some part directly or indirectly to promote the association for greater benefit to many others to come. Let’s not ask, “What I get from OPTAA” rather “What I can do for OPTAA and CMC-our alma mater”.