A million memories

Updated: 20 November, 2020 08:13 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Shraddhanjali programme for student leader Anikhet Ovhal set to be a mix of the personal and political

Anikhet Ovhal had also worked to spread awareness about COVID-19
Anikhet Ovhal had also worked to spread awareness about COVID-19

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) national secretary Anikhet Ovhal's spirit lives on and, "we think that a shraddhanjali is just the way to show it," said a section of ABVP students. The outfit is holding a shraddhanjali for the late Ovhal at Matunga's Ruia College at 6 pm today.

The background

Ovhal, 32, died by drowning on November 11. The student leader was on a work tour with a few other ABVP members and was in Nandurbar district. "In Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, Anikhet dada stopped to look at a waterfall, along with two others. Unfortunately, he slipped and fell into the water. He was snared in a whirlpool and could not get out. He drowned and the body was recovered about 1.5 hours later," explained Gargi Warunjikar of the ABVP. Ovhal was a Chembur resident.

Former student

Warunjikar added, "Today's programme will take place at the third floor auditorium of Ruia College. The venue has substantial capacity, so all social distancing and other pandemic norms will be followed. We expect his friends, the ABVP cadre, young political leaders and even some academicians to be there. The event will be live streamed too, so that those unable to attend can witness it." Warunjikar further said, "Ovhal was a Ruia college graduate, so the event will be held at the same institution." Several speakers are expected to talk about the impact Ovhal had on them. There will also be a video clip presentation on the Chembur local's life.

Ashish Chauhan, national organising secretary, ABVP said, "Ovhal's standout quality was his ability to get everybody together and work. He had great respect from every arm of the ABVP and I have never heard of him having an argument with his co-workers." A young man, who met Ovhal through his ABVP work, spoke about his unique trait to be able to foster a feeling of oneness among people. "He was like an older brother to me, a guiding light," he said emotionally and added, "His memory will stay with me throughout."

Shelar remembers

Senior BJP leader Ashish Shelar, who had paid a condolence visit to Ovhal's grieving family, said, "Student politics is a springboard for the national political arena. I have no doubt Ovhal was set for a greater political role on the national firmament. He had good grasping power, an ability to adapt and was a powerful orator. I have seen him lead an agitation outside Kalina campus with just three students and give a speech to 10,000 with the same aplomb."

Prerna Pawar from Thane, state secretary of the ABVP Konkan region, said, "Dada worked hard to spread Coronavirus awareness, propagate safety and also played a role in tackling the pandemic when it spiralled out of control in Dharavi through community initiatives. I learnt so much about leadership from him. In fact, he guided some of us in the ABVP like a mother who holds her child by the little finger and teaches him how to take his first steps."

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First Published: 20 November, 2020 07:24 IST

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