Mumbai: National integration and unity in diversity does not get any better than this. In the same pioneering spirit which helped create Vivek Education Society, in 1961, and later, affiliated schools and colleges, the Vivek Vidyalaya and College have done something never attempted before. On the 2nd of October, 2019, it has been 150 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. To mark this century and a half, Vivek Education Society organised ‘Talkathon-2019,’ a one of a kind initiative in which 150 students spoke about Gandhiji and his ideology, and how they are pertinent and relevant in this day and age, too. The youngest of these orators is in the senior kindergarten, and the oldest, in the final year of graduate school. They expressed themselves in more than 15 different languages, most of them Indian. Every Indian state had its representative here, and there were several students who spoke confidently in Sanskrit. There were a couple of kids who spoke in German, too. Shri D Sivanandan, former CP Mumbai, and DGP Maharashtra, and Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai Dy Director (M.A.-LS) University of Mumbai graced the occasion and addressed students on the subject of the relevance of Gandhian principles in the 21st century.
The Chief Guest, Shri. D Sivanandhan expressed his desire to listen from the students about Gandhiji’s philosophy and its relevance. He also spoke on the essence of ‘giving back to the society’ and thus reciprocates the gratitude that we owe to the society. Concerned about the growing corruption Shri D Sivanandhan discussed in detail about Gandhian views on trusteeship of wealth. He requested the school authorities to make space to set up a notice board whereby students would be encouraged to write on Gandhi’s thoughts so that students would reflect and imbibe those thoughts not only in words but also in deeds.
Motivational speaker Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, emphasized the importance of learning our mother tongue and other regional languages. He highlighted the three lessons that one should learn from Gandhiji’s life – firstly life is all about hope – One need to have a goal in life and that one goal can transform one’s life. “As a parent, I feel that the more time a child spends on learning and perfecting a language other than their language of communication in school and college, English, the less time they will have to waste on technological gadgetry and games. I am grateful that this academic institution actively encourages the participation of every student, and gives them a platform. As an author, I am thrilled at the way even supposedly ‘dead’ languages like Sanskrit, have not only been revived, but are alive. As a citizen of India, I am convinced that we don’t need to argue about which language is superior to the other”, he said.
Describing the event, Dr. Suresh Nair, the Principal of Vivek Vidyalaya and Junior College said “When we were to do something during the 150th birth anniversary year of Gandhi, we thought of doing something innovative and hence planned this non-stop oratory by the students on Gandhian ideology”
Vivek Education Society has demonstrated that every language is the national language.