DELHI: Unmukt Chand, India’s U-19 World Cup winning skipper has finally received his most cherished recognition, when he was eloquently felicitated by his undergraduate college, St. Stephens, Delhi, with whom the youngster experienced nerve-wracking moments after the issue of attendance-shortfall cropped up which led to mind-boggling media attention and coverage which sparked a healthy row over the rules embodied in the University norms, that governed sports-quota students.
The simple function on Thursday was organized in a heart-warming fashion by the Students Union Society of the prestigious college at around 2:30 pm in the college auditorium. Unmukt Chand is a second-year BA Programme student of the college.
As everyone patiently waited for the star-attraction of the ceremony, Unmukt Chand was welcomed in an appreciable manner by the college authorities with whom he was at loggerheads, just days before. When Unmukt made his way into the college hall, followed by Principal Reverend Valson Thampu and other college functionaries, the gathering applauded the very presence of the boy-wonder, who magnificently achieved glory for the nation with his superlative innings, that invited kudos from across the cricketing-community.
The felicitation ceremony began with a slide-show of Unmukt’s glorious moments in the World Cup, including his masterful ton, which was exuberantly acknowledged by all present.
Reverend Valsan Thampu showered glorifying praise on the 19-year old, during his address, in which he described Unmukt’s innings as one which displayed the highest levels of maturity and calmness in a situation of utter despair. The principal also pointed out that Unmukt Chand had been blessed with God-given talent enormously.
This followed a series of speeches, starting with the Vice Principal Clement Rajkumar, the President of the Students Union Society, and the Co-founder of the Delhi-Daredevils IPL team in which Unmukt is a member.
Lastly, Unmukt Chand was requested to share his moments of joy with his college. He began by thanking the college authorities for maintaining and extending their much-needed support and modestly acceded to the warm response and love portrayed by his fellow students.
He spoke of the three motivating factors that energized and inspired his team-mates and himself, before they flew to Australia to participate in the junior championship of cricket, viz. self-belief, effective communication amongst squad-members, and controlled aggression, adding that these were essential ingredients for a unified and mentally-strong team.
Amusingly, Unmukt chose to conclude his speech by reciting a poem, which he claimed was the literary piece from which his name was derived from. The culmination of his charming, unprepared address was concerted by an eruption of accolades from the college hall.
Though many institutions had approached Unmukt asking him to complete his education at their colleges, he has made it clear that he wants to complete his course from St Stephen's.
The Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, to which St. Stephen’s is affiliated, has agreed to permit his promotion to the second year, despite the shortfall in attendance..
Unmukt Chand was bestowed with a laurel of mention indicating his degree of accomplishment, by the principal, who hoped that Unmukt would one day represent the college cricket team which would be a privilege for the institution.
However, Reverendd Valsan Thampu also stated the packed-schedules and commitments which Unmukt would encounter with in the near future making it unlikely for the youngster to play in the college colors.
Unmukt Chand is slated to attend a training camp at the NCA, Bangalore after which he will fly to New Zealand to represent the India-A squad following which he will travel to South Africa.
The media fraternity interviewed the jubilant lad and his proud principal in the latter’s office before which he bid goodbye to his college and well-wishers. And not to forget, he realized the requests of his autograph-seekers, who were predominantly the girl students of the college.