It was a time to revisit classrooms and refresh old memories with batchmates as alumni came to Lawrence School, Sanawar, for its 169th Founders’ Day. “The most important part is that the traditions of the school have been intact which is very heartening. The school is evolving. Earlier, students from various backgrounds came to the school like the services, landlords but now the majority comes from the business elite,” said Sonal Matoo, a criminal lawyer in Delhi, from class of 91 which is celebrating its silver jubilee.
The Sanawar school is known for its contribution to the Indian Army. Pawan Bhateja, another lawyer and a alumnus from 1977 batch, said, “We have our share of Army people. But now the times have changed. So many different jobs and new avenues have been created. The school also needs to evolve. Moreover, the basic ideal of the school is still intact: to prepare students for the outside world and to achieve glory putting your country above everything else.”
The alumni feel the students of today are more confident. “Yesterday itself during the theatre play, the students did a mind-blowing job. They are very presentable, more confident than us and are more aware when it comes to the field of activities they want to pursue,” said Amar Talwar, a noted Bollywood actor.
He said, “I’m surprised at the cash awards of Rs 10,000 being given to the students. In our times, it was nowhere near this amount. I would like to add that we were more disciplined in our times as we had Army style of upbringing in school. Now it is more on the civilian lines.”
HCL founder Shiv Nadar, who was the chief guest, exhorted the students to “dream big, dream global but never dream about money. Big dreamers are the ones who make the world move ahead”.
He said: “Always fix high benchmarks. Once you take any task in hand, finish it because second chance to do the same work may not come your way.”
Headmaster Vinay Pande, who took over the charge recently after serving in other famous Doon school, said, “My heart goes to good talented students who could not afford to get admission in Lawarence School. Soon, I would come out with a scholarship scheme to fund the education of the less privileged students to provide them an opportunity to study in this school.”
Pande said that over the years, the school had assumed regional character from the pan-India one which it used to be decades ago. “It’s unfortunate. I will try hard to restore is pan-India character. We will look to open centres in other states as well,” he added.
The current generation of politicians who studied in this school includes Capt Amarinder Singh, Sukhbir Singh Badal, Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Omar Abdullah, Maneka Gandhi, Rao Inderjit Singh and Bikram Majithia. Among the famous alumni are actors such as Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta and Amry officers such as T R Shergill and M S Shergill.
“In our times, there was no brashness among students. There was no flaunting of status and high-headedness among students. We were not allowed to go out even with our parents. Cars were never allowed inside the school campus,” said Inderash Babbar, Wing Commander (retd), Indian Air Force.