“Teacher’s Day”

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Teacher’s day in India embodies the very spirit of our traditional guru-shishya (teacher-student) bond. In present times with education fast turning into a mechanized process – computer smart boards, internet connectivity and global learning, this customary relationship gets a shot in the arm when students pay homage to their teachers on this special day.

It was on September 5, 1965 that a group of illustrious students of Late Dr S. Radhakrishnan decided to pay their respects on his birthday by organizing an event. Dr Radhakrishnan, the renowned teacher who by then had gained widespread regard, expressed his wish that instead of celebrating his birthday he would appreciate it better if the day was commemorated as ‘Teachers’ Day’.

Since then 5th September has been celebrated as Teachers’ Day and the trend continues till date. It was a rare, thoughtful gesture that stands us in good stead. The day denotes the cherished relationships students enjoy with their teachers. Traditional Indian culture as well as different religions of our country – Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism – all believe in the subliminal spiritual relationship and mentoring accorded by gurus or teachers.

Be it any genre of knowledge – academic, spiritual, musical, scholarly, professional – we all need a dedicated guru or teacher to guide and instruct us. It is while such knowledge is being imparted that students develop respectful relationships for their mentors. It is the teacher’s capacities to teach, drill, educate, instruct, inculcate, enlighten, and inspire that makes them so venerable. It is teachers who eventually mold the student’s minds to make them master their chosen field of education.

This day is therefore marked out as a tribute to the unfailing contributions made by teachers in all spheres of our lives. The birth anniversary of a great teacher transforms into a day for upholding the guru-shishya tradition in all its dignity and reverence. How better can it get. We all certainly do have our own memories of the way we celebrated in school. The one common thing done by seniors was to role play teachers to demonstrate appreciation.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan born on September 5, 1888, came from the pilgrim town of Tirutani. It was his brilliance that took him to Tirupati and later Vellore for further education. Subsequently he attended Christian College in Madras to study philosophy. His concentration and sense of conviction brought him recognition as a noted philosopher.

An evocative teacher he was quite popular with students. He became a professor at Calcutta University and then served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1939 he was appointed Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University. Two years later, he took over the Sir Sayaji Rao Chair of Indian Culture and Civilization in Banaras. In 1952, Dr. Radhakrishnan was chosen to be the Vice President of the Republic of India.

September 5th therefore becomes the day to remember this great statesman whose humble submission to turn his birthday into Teacher’s Day speaks volumes of his humility and regard for teachers.  Today is an occasion for us to remember our teachers and their role in contributing to our learning and development. It is our teachers from school and college who made it possible for us to be what we are today. It is day to appreciate their patience, industry and perseverance in shaping our minds and thought processes. It is a day to value their role in our lives.

गुरु ब्रम्हा गुरु विष्णू

गुरुः देवो महेश्वरा

गुरु शाक्षात परब्रम्हा

तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः

Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu

Gurur Devo Maheshwarah

Guru Saakshaata Parabrahma

Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah

 

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Independence Day 2017: Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ Speech

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Courtesy: Express Web Desk | Updated: August 14, 2017 4:09 pm

Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech delivered this day 70 years ago to the Indian Constituent Assembly in Parliament, just before midnight on August 15, 1947. As India celebrates its 71st Independence Day, it is easy to forget that today is also the 70th anniversary of the most important speech in Indian history.

Here is the full text:

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?

Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.

That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.

And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.

The appointed day has come—the day appointed by destiny—and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.

It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed!

We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds surround us, and many of our people are sorrow-stricken and difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings responsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.

On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this freedom, the Father of our Nation, who, embodying the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have strayed from his message, but not only we but succeeding generations will remember this message and bear the imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnificent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.

We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good [or] ill fortune alike.

The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.

We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.

To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy.

And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourselves afresh to her service.

JAI HIND.”

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Need to Reinvent Institutionally

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One of the most difficult things to do after building a respected organization is to reinvent the institution that may perhaps not be performing to its full potential. The best amongst us often face strange snags – embedded cultures, weighty reputations to live up to and worst of all resistance to change. With passing time, all of this makes it yet harder to transform organizations in order to take them to the heights they deserve to reach.

Apathy, lackluster culture, or vested interests can really put a spanner in the works! The best efforts and an established reputation would not be visible to the outside world, if new, innovative things were not to occur in an institution. We have to therefore continually plan for culling in the state of the art goings-on in the world of medicine so that we can be abreast with modern world of medical education.

‘So what have you done lately’ may well be the question of the brave new modern medical world! ‘So what’s new’ – this oft asked common-place query should really become an impetus for all of us to look for answers that lead us on to explore avenues for expanding our horizons. As affiliates in the management of these medical institutions, the common search in these establishments would help determine and differentiate issues that hamper progress and growth. There is only way for them to go – and that is up!

The need really is to develop and enlarge the framework of these medical institutions so that they outshine and grow alongside world class institutions. This is essential to allow them to emerge as recognized institutions of higher learning across the globe. One cannot afford to sit on past laurels nor allow any kind of complacency to set in. Such might obstruct plans for envisioned transformational processes. In all likelihood these then would be successful steps that will alter the course of these institutions.

When Shri Ranjitbabu Deshmukh and his devoted team took over the reins of NKPS Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, few outside of Nagpur even knew it existed. In no time these coveted institutions had made their mark in Central India, doubled residential students, jumped student enrollment, and now the Medical College and Hospital attract the best talents and students from all over.

So much groundwork and effort has gone into the Institutions to bring them to their present stature. Undoubtedly it has been the vision and vigil of the founding fathers that serves as an inspiration to this day. Putting up the right people together with given responsibility and due authority helped in making everything work and grow. Decisions were made that made things going bigger and better.

And now once again the time has come to strengthen affairs with a plan of action. The present sets of guardians have a vision in place. Added to this, they have the propensity to act, to make decisions, to make things happen. The team is a strong believer in opportunity. And looking into the kind of prospects and targets that appear quite reachable, they sense the time has come to move fast to be at pace with contemporary medical science around the world.

Some of the opportunities that have of late presented themselves make it urgent to move forward for the rapid growth that is for the asking. New joint ventures, new technology and new associations will most certainly offer a lot more opportunities. There is so much ahead going on in the medical world of which we have to become a part. And we have to take advantage of it. It is in this context that both Dr Amol Deshmukh and Dr Suchika Gupta want to reinvent institutionally to be ready for the next level of achievement. With an inherent propensity to get things done, it is time to create the environment to get the faculty involved in this vision to succeed beyond expectations. And that’s the very real transformation through which they want to lead the change.

International Literacy Day – September 8

International Literacy Day

… and education for all

The world marks International Literacy Day as the day to highlight the importance of literacy. September 8 is nominated by UNESCO to spread the importance of ensuring that children have opportunities to learn to read and write. HERD Foundation addresses the challenge for promoting literacy and functional literacy too. The available statistics make us compelled to urgently address the issue of spreading literacy. Countless children, especially in rural areas have no access to education. This is why our parent body Vidya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (VSPM) takes it upon itself to provide due outreach.

Our focus is to make parents understand the inclusion of girls for basic education. Gender inequality is a fact of life, more so in the rural environment. Girls are more likely to be kept away from schools than boys. This fact further entrenches them in continued poverty. It is imperative to promote education for girls and we stress the role of education for them to understand the importance of building their own futures. With the kind of political will and momentum that has been put in place, we hope to ensure that all children and especially girls get the chance to study and learn to secure promising futures.

This year’s theme for International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Sustainable Development’. HERD Foundation continues to highlight the role of literacy in promoting sustainable development. We ensure that rural people in particular learn to be decisive in economic, social and political empowerment. Actually, HERD Foundation was established with this very theme in mind. Our core values include literacy as an agent for change towards sustainable development for all.

VSPM continues to ascertain education as a basic right for all. With this in end, we work towards fulfillment of our dream of an educated populace in our region. Our role has primarily been that of starting schools in rural areas so that the village folk can access basic schooling for their children. Gradually we are also setting up colleges to help kids experience the academic challenges of a developing world. Thus HERD Foundation promotes literacy by working directly for wider development goals.

Literacy offers equal employment opportunities. It is to this end that we have been working steadily. We have made youngsters in our area realize that their earning potential increases significantly when they apply themselves to earmarking their preferred area of study. It is in this context that we are keen to work towards vocational education courses and even skill enhancing courses that will help them earn their livelihoods. HERD Foundation stands clear on this issue even though the road might appear uphill. However we are certain of the benefits that will be achieved in due course by offering literacy and education for the future of our country.

“Literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development…literacy not only changes lives, it saves them.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO

Vocational Education

Employable Education