Teachers are Way Showers

Teachers are Way Showers

On September 05, India observed a special day to honour those in the noble profession of teaching. The story goes that when the first president of India, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, who was also a great teacher, was approached by few of his students and friends who wanted to celebrate his birthday, he replied, "instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 05 is observed as Teachers’ day." Such was the love and respect that Dr Radhakrihnan had for the profession of teaching.

Last year, our current President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who is son of a teacher, spoke about how his own teachers had played such an important role in shaping his life. He emphasised the importance of good teachers and said, "A student spends 25,000 hours in the campus. The school must have the best of teachers who have the ability to teach, love teaching and build moral qualities." It is true that teachers mould the lives their students. The foundation of a sound moral value system begins at childhood. And teachers, along with parents, are the biggest influencers in this area of the child’s development.

In recognition of the role of teachers, several organisations from Thane organised programmes and felicitated teachers on September 05. A number of city schools celebrated teachers’ day on Monday because September 05 was a Sunday. But that did not deter students, both former and present, to wish their teachers on Sunday. This writer knows many batch mates from his alma mater St John The Baptist High School, who never fail to express their gratitude to their teachers on this day. And why not? Teachers are way-showers. Like Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful TV celebrities of all time, said, "For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and school." It is indeed a good time to remember that teaching today is far more challenging than it used to be. And therefore, teachers need all the encouragement they can get from the society.

The spirit of Janmashtami
After Teacher’s Day, it was time to celebrate Lord Krishna’s Birthday. Lord Krishna is the most charismatic Hindu God. It is hardly a surprise then, that Janmashtami is celebrated with such fervour and ecstasy the world over. On Tuesday, hundreds of young men were seen forming human hills across the city to reach the Dahi Handi and break it. The temptation though was not as much the contents of the pot (butter in Lord Kirshna’s case), but large sums of prize money announced by various associations.

Thankfully, just like the teacher’s day, many NGO’s and schools organised their own dahi-handi programmes. For instance The Saraswati Mandir Trust’s Pre-primary School organised a dahi-handi for its little students. Sevadham organised one for tribal children from villages on the outskirts of Thane. Every year little children are dressed as Lord Krishna and they enact the ritual of breaking a pot of butter. Only difference here is that there is no prize money involved luring them. The children, whether from the city or villages, were in it for the sake for pure joy. They celebrated Janmashtami in its true spirit. Now we know why it is said that God resides in the heart of children.      

Save Masunda
September is quite a month. After Teacher’s Day and Janmashtami, it is time to welcome everyone’s favourite God. Next Saturday we will celebrate the coming of Lord Ganesha. It’s time to rejoice. But it’s also time to contemplate about the environment we inhabit and our duty towards it. Led by Jidnyasa, several city-based NGOs are coming together to kick-start a week-long awareness programme that begins tomorrow with forming of a human chain around the Masunda Lake. The message to people is to leave the Masunda Lake alone, which has already shrunk a lot due to immersing of POP in the past years. "As citizens, it is our constitutional duty to conserve our natural resources," says Surendra Dighe, Managing Trustee of Jidnyasa. Here is an appeal from all the NGO’s involved: If you are an environment-conscious individual, please join the human chain and spread the message of conserving our natural resources.

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