Riviera'18: When Gambhir met VIT students
Riviera 2018, the annual sports and cultural extravaganza event that attracts some of the finest young minds from all over the world and which has become one of the most popular students' International sports and cultural festival in India began at VIT in Vellore on Thursday.
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir inaugurated the gala event and gave away prizes to winners of the marathon held earlier in the day to mark the beginning of Riviera'18.
Over 38,000 students from 400 universities and colleges, including those from Russia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Germany, Singapore, Bhutan, Uganda, Malaysia, Philippines, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, France, Afghanistan and Mauritius are taking part in this colourful international event held every year at VIT.
Dr G. Viswanathan, Founder and Chancellor of VIT University, in his presidential address, said that the institution was in the forefront of innovations and creating new things every year. This year's Riviera has surpassed the festival of the previous year.
After setting free a flock of pigeons to mark the auspicious inauguration of the event, Gautam Gambhir said that he had heard about the quality education imparted to the students, VIT hospitality and its humanitarian outlook. "Today, I got an opportunity to witness that," he said.
He said that after looking at the infrastructure and other facilities here, he had no doubts that VIT University will become the number one educational institute in India.
He told the students that they have got a wonderful opportunity to pursue engineering in one of India's topmost institutions and that they should make full use of the opportunity.
After his address, he interacted with the students and also took a selfie with them.
In the marathon event held over 9.9 kilometres earlier in the day, Mikiyas of Ethiopia won the first place, followed by Santhosh of Islamiya College, and Vaniyambadi and Binu Peettam of Kottayam St. Stephen's College secured the third place.
In the woman's event, Kalaiselvi of Trichy Jenny's College won the first place, second place was secured by M. Vanitha and Marina Mathew of Kochi and a former student of VIT won the third place. All of them received their prizes from Gautam Gambhir.
G V Selvam, Vice President of VIT, presented a shawl and a memento to Gambhir. Among others who took part in the inaugural event included Vice-Chancellor Dr Anand A. Samuel, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr S. Narayanan, Director, Students Welfare Prof. Amit B. Mahindrakar and Organiser of Riviera cultural festival Prof. S. Sasikumar.
Friday evening at VIT saw musical performances by Vijay Prakash, Saindhavi and Shirley Setia. The event also included programmes featuring directors Pushkar and Gayathri, Puri Jagannath, actors Pooja Devariya, Shradha Srinath, music composer S.S. Thaman and Dhara Singh, who will receive the Mr India title.
Actor Rana Daggubati of Bahubali fame will take part in the valedictory function to be held on February 18.