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Evolution of ORCA and its forward march of 38 years
It was the year of 1972, not very later than the war of liberation Rajshahi Cadet College was reopened at a time when the whole country was undergoing the painful trauma of the devastating war. As we all know that Rajshahi Cadet College is one of those worst hit institutions of the country which had to pay a very high price for the liberation of their motherland measured in the fathom of sweat, hardships, blood, tears and loss of their dear ones. The smell of the corpses was still in the air, skeletons of the unknown war victims were yet visible in the distant fields and the vultures were flying above in the sky. The whole campus was grief stricken and was in a mourning mood. Classes resumed in the dearth of teachers, employees, students who were the ultimate invaluable price of the war of independence. The hearts were bleeding profusely. The Cadets were emotionally choked with the haunting memories of their fellow brothers. In the face of this critical moment of faltering situation the then senior most passing out batch of Cadets vowed to stand up firmly. Decided to make such a forum, which would ensure them of repaying their huge debt to the nation by participating in the process of serving the distressed humanity. They also decided to form a concrete platform that would preserve and promote the traditional inherent brotherly ties of the Ex-Cadets of R.C.C. These very sentiments finally culminated in the formation of their dearest forum OSCA (OLD SARDAH CADETS ASSOCIATION) on June 6, 1972. On September 27, 1973 an emergency meeting was held at the Teacher and Students Center (TSC) of Dhaka University and a 5 members committee was formed to draft a working constitution for the association which was tasked to report by September 30, 1973. The members were Md. Sadiqul Islam (1/4), Syed Mustaqul Haque (2/70), AKM Masudul Haque (3/85), Khairul Alam Belal (3/78) and Rezaul Ekram Raju (3/134). The first constitution of OSCA/ORCA framed by the committee was adopted on October 1, 1973. The distinct ORCA logo (with the words 'old friends') was designed by Muhammad Ehsanullah (3/108). AKM Saiful Majid (2/41) was selected/elected as the founder Vice-President of the Association. Shortly thereafter as he left the country M Sadirul Islam (2/47) took over the reigns. During that time and subsequent periods, the incumbent Principal of Rajshahi Cadet College was designated as the ex-officio President of OSCA/ORCA. Therefore, Mr. M. Bakiatullah (late) had the honor of being the first President of OSCA/ORCA. The first office was located at Room no. 544, Hajee Mahammad Mohsin Hall, University of Dhaka. Thereafter it was moved to Dilkusha Sporting Club at the Outer Stadium and the Association was renamed as Old Rajshahi Cadets Association (ORCA). Before moving to the 250, New Elephant Road, during an intervening period of 1978=1980, the office was located at 58 Lake Circus, Kalabagan. ORCA is now housed in a befitting and serene setting at House No. 28, Lake Drive Road, Nikunja-1, Dhaka-1229. Thus the month of June of the year 1972 is most significant to each and every ex-cadet of R.C.C when as long as 38 YEARS back the baby ORCA took off from the ground in a CLOUDYDAY but with a shining spirit of "LET ALL OF US PROSPER TOGETHER"
No prolonged journey can ever be smooth and entertaining. ORCA has not been any exception to this. Especially during the initial struggling days of its very survival when all of us were merely students and non-earning members, ORCA had the toughest part of its journey. But surprisingly ORCA performed exceptionally well to meet all these challenging moments with due courage, dedication and leadership through its series of Executive Bodies of energetic, selfless, dedicated workers. Today's ORCA is the outcome of a significant nos. of ORCA member's immense sacrifice of time, labor and money.
ORCA IN DEVELOPING THE BROTHERLY FRATERNITY OF ITS MEMBERS:
In order to keep alive and further enhance the brotherly fraternity among its members ORCA performs a series of programs round the year. Of them most important are Reception & Career counseling of the newly passed out batch of R.C.C, observance of the College Day, Indoors games competition. Inter House cricket competition, participation in different tournaments of games, Doa for immediate departed souls, yearly Doa Mahfil for all the ORCA departed souls in the holy month of Ramadan, Qirat competition, yearly ORCA picnic. In order to boost up the ORCA family ties ORCA ladies club plays an important role in arranging periodical get-togethers of the ORCA ladies of different batches. ORCA plays further an important role for upgrading the needy ORCA members, ORCA provides SCHOLARSHIPS every year not only to ORCA needy students but also to the next generation ORCA children. With a view to encourage academic excellence of the cadets of R.C.C ORCA rewards the best academic performers of the college periodically including one Best Teacher of the college every year. ORCA has contributed significant nos. computers to R.C.C for upgrading their modern technology in education. In addition ORCA has contributed to a number of present needy cadets to mitigate their college tuition fees who were unable to continue their education in the college. All these funds are generated by the effluent ORCA members both home and abroad.
Reunion is the most colorful and entertaining program of the ORCA members in which they get the rare opportunity of meeting with each other and the present cadets after a long gap of time. They exchange their views, recollect their old naughty days they have left behind in the campus. The days are packed up with varieties of colorful attractive programs one after another. On the other hand arranging REUNION is the most difficult up hill task, which is no less than moving a huge mountain against its very gravity. It also involves in mobilizing a huge fund of money from almost all the batches. Since 1972 in a span of 34 YEARS ORCA has successfully conducted 10 NOS. OF REUNIONS of which the immediate past REUNION of 2006 has been considered to be the most vibrant and colorful REUNION as ever.
ORCA IN THEIR HUMANITARIAN GOALS
As mentioned earlier ORCA has a promise to repay the nation of their huge debt by serving the cause of the distressed humanity. Thus ORCA since its very inception has been playing a commendable role in the society in promoting the lots of the down trodden millions of the country through its multifarious humanitarian programs.
ORCA BLOOD DONATION PROGRAM:
ORCA BLOOD DONATION PROGRAM was activated in the year 1982 which performed 188 Nos. of Blood DONATION programs so far and collected about 10,000 Nos. of blood bags to till date. ORCA has already been nationally awarded as the highest blood donor agency by the govt. In addition ORCA BLOOD FOR LIFE is further a step ahead in which ORCA arranges fresh blood directly from the donor to the patient by dint of database of the donors ready in its office round the clock. Just a telephone call to ORCA BLOOD FOR LIFE office will be enough for any needy distressed patient to get fresh blood directly from the donor within no time.
ORCA provides shelters to the floating homeless people around the country through ORCA Palli. ORCA established six such kind of project on different areas of Bangladesh. The palli and their locations are- ORCA Palli 01(Mukhterpur in the vicinity of Rajshahi Cadet College), ORCA Palli 02(Doldolia, Ulipur), ORCA Palli 03(Begumgonj, Ulipur), ORCA Palli 04(Buraburi, Ulipur), ORCA Palli 05(Thetrai, Ulipur) and ORCA Palli 06(Kuakata, Patuakhali). In addition of their provision of shelters they are also paid Zakat money & interest free micro loans to improve their standard of living. In the background of our glaring success in those projects we do believe that those projects are an eye opener for all NGOs and humanitarian agencies who are engaged in improving the condition of the poor destitute.
ORCA HOMES located at Chittagong is another milestone of our humanitarian activities at Chittagong. ORCA HOMES is the house of 10 Orphan boys being nurtured by our ORCA CHITTAGONG chapter. The boys are provided standard food, lodging, medical services. A Caretaker who has to be present in the HOMES round the clock looks them after full time. In addition to their education they are also provided games, entertaining & co-curricular activities training. The ORCA ladies at Chittagong provide their motherly caring services to these orphan boys. This whole project is a full time service job round the year and for years together is indeed a challenging task unlike other one-time delivery jobs. The fund is provided by ORCA members both home & abroad. Thanks to all dedicated ORCA brothers & Bhabis who have been relentlessly working days after days and years after years.
ORCA CARPENTRY TRAINING SCHOOL:
This project has been executed in the year 2005 which is located at Sardah, Rajshahi with an aim of training carpentry works to the needy people for making them self reliant by means of their carpentry skills. This profession has got a high demand in the field of construction at this moment. The land of training has been hired. Tools for carpentry works are provided to the trainees. One trainer with proficiency in the carpentry field trains them practically everyday. It takes hardly 6(six) months for any trainee to be acquainted with the skill and who virtually becomes self-reliant.
WINTER CLOTH DISTRIBUTION:
During the winter season it becomes extremely cold in poor stricken areas like Kurigram. ORCA distributed winter cloths quite a number of times moving from Dhaka to far-flung areas like Kurigram, Rajshahi. The job has been carried out in chilly winter but the warmth is still felt today.
REHABILITATION OF FLOOD DISTRESSED PEOPLE:
Rehabilitation of flood distressed people is another priority project of ORCA. ORCA achieved another landmark in rehabilitating significant nos. of distressed families who were rendered homeless in the countrywide devastating flood of 1998. The families were rehabilitated in the district of Chapai Nawabganj and Rajshahi. In addition ORCA conducted several successful flood relief operations in the most difficult and challenging logistic areas like Aricha, Manikganj. ORCA members provided the money and relief materials. ORCA Army personnel, Engineers, Doctors, volunteers rendered their services free of cost.
ORCA MOBILE MEDICAL SERVICES:
In addition to its other humanitarian activities ORCA also provides free medical services and free medicines to the distressed needy people. The doctors are well experienced in their fields who are ORCA members. ORCA members themselves donate the medicines.
ORCA ZAKAT FUND:
ORCA also collects Zakat from its members especially from the overseas members who feel difficult to disburse their Zakat money every year. ORCA with the help of R.C.C authority distributes Zakat money to the poor employees of R.C.C, families of ORCA PALLI and other poor people around the village of Mukhterpur.
INTEREST FREE MICRO-CREDIT FACILITIES FOR THE POOR:
This scheme has been activated since 2003 in which poor entrepreneurs of ORCA PALLI are provided micro credits every year for micro projects like weaving Lungi or Gamchha, pottery, Rich shaw pulling, goats rearing, dyeing etc. The project is managed by ORCA Rajshahi Chapter with the active assistance of R.C.C authority. Here the success rate is 100%.
OLD AGE HONORARIUM FOR THE NEEDY OLD EX-EMPLOYEES OF R.C.C:
ORCA has been providing monthly financial support to 7 (seven) Nos. of old retired R.C.C employees @ Tk. 300.00 per month since the year of 2001. This scheme of supporting a person in his old age has earned high appreciation from all quarters especially from the old retiring persons. The entire fund is provided by one effluent ORCA member who does not want that his name be publicized.
In fine we do not say that we have achieved all over goals but definitely can we say that our achievements are not negligible. We had a promise to reach the sky but nevertheless the sky is not too far from us at present.
Long live ORCA, Long live ORCA fraternity.
"LET ALL OF US PROSPER TOGETHER"