Advocating the culture of discussion rather than dispute, President Ram Nath Kovind called for values-based education to promote ethics in the society.
“Lessons that a child imbibes in the school that may not be formally tested in the board examination, but these are the lessons of culture, character, compassion and courage. The child who internalises these values will always be sensitive towards the world outside,” he said.
Kovind was speaking at the inauguration of Sadhu Vaswani International School at Sadhu Vaswani Mission.
He also recalled the contributions of social reformers from Pune like Mahatma Phule, Savitribai Phule, M G Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar in the field of education.
“Each one of them placed an emphasis on education, culture of discussion rather than that of dispute, and of addressing the disagreement while being mindful of the other person’s dignity,” he said.
Lauding the efforts of Sadhu Vaswani Mission in the field of education, he said progressive ideas floated from there.
“Pune has been a centre of education for Maharashtra and for the country. The story of modern India owes much to the educational, reformist and progressive ideas that have flowed from this city and for which our nation is truly appreciative,” the president said.
He described Sadhu Vaswani as one of the “most remarkable nation builders, who taught how to combine the values of our ancient civilisation with the techniques of the modern age.”
BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, Maharashtra Governor K Vidyasagar Rao, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and Dada J P Vaswani were present on the occasion.
Later, Kovind also unveiled a statue of Ramabai Ambedkar, wife of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, at a garden named after her.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that it was Babasaheb Ambedkar’s partnership with Ramabai that motivated him as he championed women’s rights.
“Like Babasaheb, Ramabai also contributed towards the eradication of untouchability and social equality. Her life is inspirational for every Indian woman,” he said