On the eve of Teacher’s Day, we put together a list of India’s most famous teachers who were a great visionary and have worked hard to support their students. They did not limit their knowledge and have encouraged their students to lead a successful life. Read on:
Not many know that Teacher’s Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Radhakrishnan, the erstwhile president of India. His students wanted to celebrate his birthday once, to which he replied that instead of celebrating my birthday, celebrate this day as Teacher’s Day. A product of Madras Christian College, Radhakrishnan taught at myriad universities around the world including Universities of Calcutta and Mysore, Harvard University and Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
Rabindranath Tagore is undoubtedly one of the greatest poet, author and playwriter of India but he was also a great visionary. He established a school and later a university at rural hinterland of Bengal, Shantiniketan and emphasised on emotional and spiritual education of children. In his school, teaching was done under trees.
Tagore was a great mentor and invested his Nobel Prize money into the university.
A philosopher, an economist and a royal advisor, Chanakya is credited with writing the Arthashastra. He used to teach at Taxila University, a varsity of great importance in ancient India. According to some, Chanakya taught his students the craft of combat without using sight or sound. Chanakya assisted Chandragupta and his son Bindusara as the royal advisor and helped established the Mauryan empire.
The Mahabharat states that Dronacharya was the guru of the Kaurvas and the Pandavas. He was appointed by the princes’ great-grandfather, Bheeshmapitahmah to educate them about warfare and archery. Legend has it that Arjun was Dronacharya’s favorite.
One day out on a hunt with his pupils, he saw a young tribal prince, Eklavya, shoot a target better than Arjun. Eklavya informed him that he was the same person Dronacharya had denied teaching archery and he, Eklavya, had built a stone bust of Dronacharya and learnt archery by praying to it. To make Arjun unbeatable, Dronacharya shrewdly asked for the thumb, a crucial aspect of archery as his “guru dakshina”.
APJ Abdul Kalam
A teacher, a scientist, an innovator, and on top of everything else, possibly the most loved presidents the country has ever had, APJ Abdul Kalam was a visionary. Known as India’s “Missile Man”, Kalam died doing what he loved best: teaching. He breathed his last while delivering a lecture to students at IIM Shillong. In his book “Wings of Fire” (2004), Kalam was of the opinion that to become a good teacher, one must always put his or her students ahead of themselves, is passionate about teaching, encourages questions from students and pushes them to explore their capabilities.
Jyotirao and Savitri Bai Phule:
Credited with establishing the country’s first girl’s school in 1848, Jyotirao and Savitri Bai pioneered the education of the girl child as well as people from ‘lower’ castes in India. The two were married when Jyotirao was 12 and Savitri Bai was nine. When he learned that his spouse was illiterate, Jyotirai took on the task of educating his wife and the two later worked towards promoting education and the breaking social customs designed to subjugate women.
Asima Chatterjee has won many awards for her contribution in the field of education. She is best known for her work on vinca alkaloids, now used in cancer drugs, and for the development of anti-convulsives and anti malarial drugs from plants.
India’s knight in shining armour, Pullela Gopichand is the driving force behind Rio Olympics 2016 Badminton Singles Silver Medal winner P V Sindhu. The former All England champion coached Sindhu for the international games and is now the National Coach for the sport. He supplies his wards with game strategies, inputs, and on-court Pentium processor and unparalleled support.
The founder of “Super 30”, Anand Kumar is known for providing engineering coaching for the IIT-JEE entrance exams to 30 underprivileged students every year free of cost. Kumar has helped more than 350 students reach IIT since the inception of his program in 2002. Recently, he was visited by Japan’s Ambassador to India, received awards and recognition from the likes of Arun Jaitely, Nitish Kumar and Priyanka Chopa. He is loved by his students and had deliver lectures the world over at institutions such as MIT, Massachusetts and Dresden University, Saxony.
Mahavir Singh Phogat
Mahavir Singh Phogat has provided the country with as many as six wrestling champions, all of then women, in sport that is anything but feminine. Of these, three have won gold medals on the global stage. A former member of India’s national wrestling team, Phogat quit his job in order to train his daughters for the Commonwealth Games. Rewarding their father’s hard work, Geeta won gold and Babita won silver in the games held at Delhi. Two years later, they also won bronze each in the World Championships.
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