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  Volume 3 - Issue 10
OCTOBER 2005

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NATIONAL AWARD FOR SAI SCHOOL TEACHER

The 5th of September is celebrated as “Teacher’s Day” all over India every year. It is to mark the birthday of the second president of India, Sri Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a noted educationist, a great scholar and diplomat, and above all, a great patriot and teacher par excellence.

In fact, when he became the president of India in 1962, some of his students and friends requested him if they could celebrate his birthday, the great educationist who made no secret of his passion for teaching, replied that "Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if it is celebrated as Teachers’ Day."

And that’s how every year Sep 5th is celebrated in all the schools and colleges of India as “Teacher’s Day”.


Very aptly, the Department of Secondary and Higher Education of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, has chosen this day every year to reward the best teachers selected from primary and secondary schools from all the states of India.

In the year 2003, one of the recipients of this prestigious “National Award for Teachers” was the Principal of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Prashanthi Nilayam, Sri Y Sivaramakrishnaiah. This year it was the turn of yet another teacher from the same school, Sri K R Vedanarayanan, 43, from the Department of Sanskrit to receive this award from the President of India, Sri A P J Abdul Kalam.

Teachers of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School receiving the awards from the President of India
 
The Principal Sri Y Sivaramakrishnaiah receiving
the award in 2003.
The Sanskrit Teacher, Sri K R Vedanarayanan receiving
the award in 2005.

According to the communication from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, this award is presented to the school teachers “on the basis of their academic efficiency, desire for improvement in Education, genuine interest in and love for children, involvement in social life and reputation enjoyed in the local community.”

The award distribution ceremony this year was in the Vijnana Bhavan, New Delhi and presided over by dignitaries of the Union Government which included the President and the Minister for Human Resource Development.

 
The President Sri Abdul Kalam speaking
to the awardees.
The panel of distinguished guests for the
award presentation ceremony

When Mr. Vedanarayanan went up to the podium to receive the award from the President, Dr. Kalam expressed immense happiness on learning that he is from Prashanthi Nilayam and with a congratulatory pat on his shoulder said, “So you are from the abode of Peace! You are so fortunate!”


The President of India to Sri Veda Narayanan, "So you have come from the abode of peace, you are so fortunate".

Later, when Mr. Vedanarayanan had the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, Sri Manmohan Singh had these words to say, “Please convey my respectful pranams (obeisances) to Bhagawan Baba. I think of Him always” . The Sanskrit teacher, who has been associated with Swami’s school for more than two decades now, says, there is magic in the “Sai” name, for, the moment the important persons present there knew that he was from a “Sathya Sai Institution” they congratulated him profusely on his good luck.


The award consisted of a ‘Certificate of Merit’, a Silver Medal and a Cash Prize of Rs. 25,000. But “More than any of these awards, I feel the greatest reward for me is the opportunity to chant Vedic hymns in front of the very Origin of the Vedas – The Veda Purusha – our Beloved Swami Himself!” says the expert in chanting Vedic hymns, whose association with Swami dates back to 1968 when he came for his first Darshan as a 6 year old young lad. The memory of that holy Thursday day is ever fresh in my memory, the proficient Sanskrit teacher adds.

A familiar figure in Prashanthi Nilayam who has been leading the Vedic chants in the Sai Kulwant Hall ever since Swami asked for Vedic hymns to be chanted during Darshan time, Mr. Vedanarayanan, further says, “If we secure our grip firmly at His Lotus feet, everything else will automatically be added on to us. This is my firm belief.”

Good luck to you, Mr. Vedanarayan, and that is our belief too as Lord Jesus centuries ago said, “Seek the Kingdom of God and everything else shall be added unto you.” Cordially yours,

- The Heart 2 Heart Team.

 
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Vol 3 Issue 10 - October 2005
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