IN a tribute to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the South Indian Education Society (SIES) rechristened the 55-year-old North Mumbai Welfare Society (NMWS) School as SIES (Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial) High School on Sunday. The society also unveiled a life-size statue of Kalam on the school premises, commemorating the 87th birth anniversary of the former President.
The SIES, one of the oldest registered tax-exempt charities in Mumbai, has about 12,000 students in various campuses, from KG to PhD. “In the year 1929, some migrant South Indians came to Mumbai and dreamt of establishing educational institutions, not only for their children but for everyone. Today, their dream has completed 85 years of existence,” said Dr V Shankar, president of SIES.
The NMWS was merged with SIES, bringing the school under its fold. After the amalgamation, NMWS High School was renamed in honour and memory of the “People’s President”, who was also the Principal Patron of SIES. In his address, G H Ananthanarayanan (92), president of NWMS, said, “We worked to educate the ‘Daridra Narayan’ (the poor who represent God), in the words of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Dr V Shankar, who talked about the establishment of digital schools in tribal areas and several other initiatives of the trust, said, “We need to convert educational institutions into thinking laboratories.” Along with the renaming ceremony of NMWS School, the Shanmukhananda Sabha is also conducting a five-day exhibition, “India at 70”, covering several contributions India has made to the world till the 70th year of its Independence. The exhibition will also showcase “Kalam ki Kalam” (Kalam’s pen), exclusively displaying Abdul Kalam’s books.