Kolkata: Remember the Bengali film, Koni, where a swimming couch inspired and trained his student to compete and win a swimming championship.Soumitra Chatterjee, who donned the role of Kshitish, the swimming coach, will be remembered for years to come for his immortal acting. “Fight Koni fight” had become a very popular slogan after the film got released. Anil Kumar Das Gupta, the Kshitish Master, of Ballygunge Lake and a doyen among swimming coaches in Kolkata, passed away recently at his residence. He was 97. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseAnilda, as he was popularly known, was intimately involved with Indian Life Saving Society (ILSS) from the mid 1950s. He took it upon himself to coach and train young swimmers who displayed potential. He started Advanced Training at ILSS, and within a couple of years he was able to produce the first of his state champions and record holders. One of his trainees, Anuradha Guha Thakurta, became ILSS’s first National Swimming Champion in 1958, followed by many other swimmers of distinction. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAbout fifty-sixty years ago, a coach was identified only by a clipboard and a stopwatch. At ILSS, Anilda introduced physical training and yoga for his wards, specified diet and energy drinks, as well as tightly controlled swim schedules for practice. All the expertise that Anilda developed on performance training was primarily self -taught. The cradle of swimming in Kolkata and Bengal were the tanks at Hedua and College Square in Central Kolkata, until Anilda showed that outstanding champions could also be developed at the Dhakuria Lakes in ILSS. He earned the respect of the veteran coaches of central Kolkata. The swimmers, members and staffs of ILSS have expressed condolences on the death of their great coach and mentor.