IIMA Finally Gets a Swimming Pool

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IIMA Finally Gets a Swimming Pool

| Updated: September 11, 2022 11:44

It’s ironic that an institution like Gujarat Vidyapith, a bastion of Gandhian austerity, has always had a swimming pool, while the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), a symbol of the high-flying corporate lifestyle, has never had one. This has now been rectified with the inauguration of the new IIFL swimming pool at the new IIMA campus on Friday. The indoor swimming pool has been financed through a Rs 3 crore donation by finance company IIFL (India Infoline Limited) whose founder-chairman Nirmal Jain graduated from IIMA in 1989.

Though it has always had every other kind of sports facility, why has IIMA never had a swimming pool? Former IIMA Director Pradip Khandwala says the subject never came up. “I was at the IIMA from 1975 to 2002 and I don’t recall any proposal for building a swimming pool on the campus. I guess we were too busy with other things.”

Nirmal jain

Speaking with VOI! from the USA, where he is visiting his daughter at her college in Los Angeles, Nirmal Jain says: “In the USA, a swimming pool is a basic necessity. But in India, the facilities available to students in most institutes are so inadequate. I discussed this with the previous IIMA director Ashish Nanda, who had come from Harvard and we decided on this project. Ahmedabad has a hot summer, so a swimming pool seemed like a great idea.”

Pradip Khandwala

Though he couldn’t attend the inauguration, Nirmal was there for the groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony for the pool six years ago. Why has the project taken so long to complete? “It’s because they kept changing the plan. The original plan was for a stand along pool, but then they wanted to build a sports complex as well,” says Nirmal.  

The new sports complex, which has been inaugurated along with the pool, has three badminton courts, two squash courts and a state-of-the-art gym with steam and sauna rooms. There is also a yoga room. The total cost of the swimming pool and sports complex is estimated to be Rs 8 crore.

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