Hope lies in dreams, he believed and with a spectacular dream, he created one of the best private state universities in northeastern India: the Assam down town University (AdtU). This is Rtn Dr Narendra Nath Dutta, a past district governor from RID 3240, founder-chancellor of AdtU and CMD of the Downtown Hospital. Coming from a small village, he achieved academic brilliance, getting an MBBS from Guwahati Medical College and post-graduation (ENT) from AIIMS, New Delhi. He went for higher studies in microsurgery in the UK.
After 14 years of teaching in GMCH, he resigned from there and started the down town hospital, the first NABH-accredited hospital in northeast India where 27 retired medical college teachers worked as consultants in the initial stage, giving a big thrust to the hospital.
He joined Rotary in 1974 and served as district governor in 1995–96. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 2013–14. He visited Kenya as a Rotary volunteer microsurgeon under an RI programme and stayed there for a month. He also brought a Rotary volunteer, Ecard Muller from South Africa to study the erosion problem in Majuli — the largest river island in the world, and presented a report. He and his wife Bandana are members of RC Guwahati.
He established the AdtU in 2010. Although there are various courses and programmes, the strength of this varsity is its Department of Nursing, Paramedical and MBA in Health Care.
The university enrols 240 students in various nursing programmes every year with 100 per cent placement. There are 19 paramedical courses with doctors as part of the faculty updating the students with the latest in this medical field.
Set up on an 80-acre land spread over the foothills on the banks of Bhramaputra river, at Panikhaiti, 16km away from Guwahati, the AdtU is one of the top medical institutions in the northeast offering students a unique blend of professional and academic excellence. The green campus is dotted with 10,000 trees of rare varieties including 1,000 orchids, 100 neem trees, 100 coconut, areca nut, walnut trees, ginger, haldi, lemon garden and many more.
The university has a solar power plant, rainwater harvesting system in four blocks and a 5,000-seat-amphitheatre hosts various techno events, competitions, DJ Nights, and special performances.The AdtU has always encouraged the involvement of women in varsity affairs.
During her visit Union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani was pleasantly surprised to note that women faculty and students outnumbered men, and they outshine their counterparts in academics.
The five hostels accommodate 600 girls and 300 boys. Facilities like indoor swimming pool, basketball ground, four badminton courts, yoga centre, gymnasium and football ground etc are available for students and faculties.
The AdtU is doing adult literacy programmes in association with RC Guwahati, in six surrounding villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. The students organise life skill, physical and mental health workshops for the villagers..
Each year over 2,500 students get enrolled in the varsity and till date, 2,000 have passed out of both UG and PG medical courses at the AdtU. I invite Rotarians to come and visit our campus. The dream of PDG Narendra Nath Dutta to build an eco-friendly university has helped the common people in Assam and other far-flung areas to realise their dream of becoming doctors and paramedics through quality education at the AdtU.
The writers teach English at the Assam down town University