A humble tribute to a career educator ..

Tamso Ma Jyotirgamaya”
It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness

What does it take to capture the imagination of a child; nurture a child’s physical and mental being? Perhaps we tend to be oblivious to the solution due to its inherent simplicity.
In 1943, Shree Indubhai Dave, a high school teacher in pre-partition India began organizing kids after school to narrate to them stories about great world leaders and play Indian games. He named his little group “Shishukunj” or the “garden of children” with the vision that this is a place where a child’s mind would find nourishment. In August 1947, Shishukunj ceased its activities due to the communal distress and violence. Shree Indubhai moved to Limbi State in Gujarat; then to Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania; and finally Kenya where he re-established Kalaniketan Shishukunj. Since then it has expanded to numerous cities in India and as far as the U.K.
Shree Indubhai Dave passed away this week. Under his spirited guidance, I had my first ever role in one of many traditional plays I took part in. I still remember him standing proudly in the wings as he encouraged me to step into the stage light for the first time. I was 7. He instilled in me an appreciation for art, culture, music and a host of virtues I still hold dear today.
Shree Indubhai’s resounding message, that every child is unique and must be treated as such; and that all children share a common basic for physical and mental well-being still holds true today. Adult tendencies are predisposed by their environment and how their needs are fulfilled as children. Often many of their needs are not realized due to environmental factors or the lack of guidance. Shree Indubhai created a safe environment for children where they could be nurtured into responsible adults.
Here was a man who achieved all he had set out to accomplish. His life was his greatest example. May his soul rest in eternal peace …

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