A gathering at Raja Annamalai Manram at Esplanade on Monday left few in doubt about the meaning of the `sense of belonging.' The programme was got up to felicitate octogenarian N. Sampath, president of Tamilnadu Bank Employees' Federation.

Mr. Sampath, held his audience spellbound with his extempore oration. He spoke of the ordeals he faced when he launched the agitation to be recognised as an employee. Sixty years later, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), recalled with gratitude his contribution.

Mr. Sampath recalled several incidents that kept him going. One of them was the association's theme song written in 1973.

AIBEA decided that a theme song would foster a feeling of belonging and keep the association united. The association asked film lyricist Vaali to pen the lyrics. He was paid Rs.6,000 for it, said Mr. Sampath. The song was recorded by HMV. The women's council of the association rendered it. Soon the song caught on. Other associations followed suit with their own theme songs.

R. Sujatha