The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the 62nd convocation of Gujarat Vidyapith on Tuesday at Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said Gandhiji propounded the principle of Nai Talim for social reconstruction which states that knowledge and work are not separate. The constituents of Nai Talim are the 3-H: heart, hand and head. To put this philosophy into practice, Gandhiji promoted an academic curriculum of ‘basic education for all’. With ashram shalas and buniyadi schools operating in the remote areas, Gujarat is perhaps the only state where Nai Talim exists in an institutional form. Nai Talim infers charitra nirman or character building, whose relevance is increasing by the day. Learning with value-orientation must guide our approach in education.
The President said Gujarat Vidyapith provides education aimed at building character, competence, culture and conscientiousness in students. This is needed to regenerate the country according to Gandhian ideals. Despite growing urbanization 68 percent of the country’s population still resides in rural areas. Intervention in food security, education, skill development, employment, technology dissemination, health and nutrition, housing, drinking water and sanitation would go a long way to uplift the quality of rural life and address poverty concerns.
The President said students of Gujarat Vidyapith are trained to support rural development in line with Gandhiji’s vision. They keep the campus clean through their own labour. He expressed happiness that Gujarat Vidyapith educates students in charkha and computer with equal enthusiasm and students are imbibed with the spirit of ‘dignity of labour’. He expressed confidence that they will put their training to good use and become worthy citizens of our nation.
The President said such traditions in community life are not built in a day. It must be our endeavour to proliferate this noble practice. Swachh Bharat, according to Bapu, implied a clean mind, clean body and clean environment. Every citizen has a duty to create a clean external and internal environment of self and society to make Swachh Bharat possible.
The President said Gandhiji in life and in death struggled for communal harmony. Education in peace and harmony is the key to contain and reorient the disruptive forces in society. The motto of Gujarat Vidyapith is“Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye”, or “Education that Liberates”. The students of Gujarat Vidyapith are not only learning Gandhian thought, but are also provided exposure to world religions. This institute should continue to demonstrate that social rejuvenation through non-violence is possible by educating the heart and mind of youth.