Wishing each and every teacher a very happy TEACHERs’ DAY!! Here I am acknowledging every mentor – a teacher in every IWS, larger CL family in test-prep, vocational centres, at IWSB, also a parent, a facilitator and that includes scores of children and youngsters from whom I learn every day being in their space, interacting, discussing or playing with them.
I am on “Realizing Your Dreams” Bharat Bhraman. I reached Dehradun early in the morning today for a motivational Session addressing students who aspire to get into corporate world with an MBA degree from a premier institution.
As has been my endeavour, with the usual struggle, I headed out for a morning walk. I went through the lanes and by lanes, walked past the marvelous stretch of institutions of national importance – ONGC, FOREST Institute, Forest Survey, Geological Survey etc. While on the walk, I noticed fairly a large crowd of children at a flourist at 7am. I was wondering how is this flourist so busy, so early in the morning? Realized that the children, a few of them in best of the Sarees, Salwar Kameezs, all looking like mature adults, are flocking the flourist to get flowers and bouquets for their favourite teachers! I entered a couple of schools including a Kendriya Vidyalaya to sink in the spirit of the day!!
I recalled a few teachers days down my memory lane. One that came to my mind was when I was at Indus World School in Hyderabad, where quite a few children came dressed like their favourite teachers and behaved through the day with same mannerisms. At the end of the day all students assembled and asked their teachers to enact various scenarios, like CAT-WALK, DANCING, SINGING, while having a blast.
The other instance I recalled included my paying tributes to one of my inspiring teachers when in Class seven, Mangathayaramma, a strict, articulate, competent yet loving teacher, who taught Social Sciences in the Middle School. I recall Prof. Ramdass, maths teacher in my Class XI, who really inspired me and I went on to score a century in the board exams, not that marks are important. Yes, one can really inspire an individual to excel, push ones boundaries, and leave a lasting impression on a young mind.
Since then I have been inspired by numerous mentors who have made significant impact to my thinking including but not limited to Prof. Sundarrajan, Prof KRS Murthy, Prof Ramachandran of IIMB, Prof. Anil Gupta of IIMA and founder of SRISTI and NIF, Prof. Kiran Seth of IITD and founder of SPICMACAY, Prof Srivathsan techno-facilitator of developmental space now with IGNOU, Prof Kannan now VC Nagaland University, Ramji Raghavan, Founder of Agastya Foundation and Desh Deshpande, founder of Sycomore networks, apart from all my colleague mentors in CL Family from whom I have been learning for over a decade. I pay tributes to each one for their humungous contribution to make the lives of scores of family and children better.
Over the last decade in CL family and especially last four years of IWS’ journey, I have come across many a mentor in our corridors who are dedicated, who involve with great ownership, who take responsibilities much beyond their domain, eager to learn, with only one single aim of facilitating children and the parents and families to create a wonderful environment for learning and upbringing of the children. I pay tributes to each one.
As I was walking along the roads in Dehradun, I came across three women rummaging and packing the collected waste in large polythene cement bags for disposal. They do nothing but this every day for their living. I saw a five year old Munni with a year old brother Raju, playing and taking care when their mother is busy earning livelihood to support them. This scene gets repeated at so many places every day.
How do we really make the lives these children better? How do we enable such families? I was thinking about the POLICY of compulsory education to every child – Right to Education!! How do we really make it happen? How do we realize this dream? What role do we have as teachers and facilitators, as responsible citizens of the society?
At Indus World School of Business (IWSB) in Noida, there are a few students who run a school for children of construction workers in their own classroom at the end of the day. I see a Vipresh traveling every weekend to facilitate farmers in the district of Aligarh to take up Organic farming. I See a Jaydeep working to find ways to take grassroot innovations to the market place by facilitating the rural inventors. I pay tribute to each of the passionate initiators and volunteers.
Each one of us can really push ourselves a little more and go beyond if we really want to. How about teaching the maid at home and her children? I am eagerly looking forward to all our schools throwing open the corridors every evening for such endeavours where children from the neighbourhood come to learn and enjoy in the same learning spaces. How about creating a small Science or Art learning centres within the premises? How about proactively bringing children and their work – any kind of art form – into the corridors of our institutions?
Come let us dedicate ourselves to stretch a little more to make this world more humane and cheerful.
Wishing each one of a great year ahead!
Love and regards,