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Mould kids at tender age: Bedi

TEACHERS AND educationists should have the belief in themselves that children could be mould at a tender age by inculcating right values in them, to build a better future, said Magsaysay Award winner super cop Dr Kiran Bedi here today.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2006 13:39 IST

TEACHERS AND educationists should have the belief in themselves that children could be mould at a tender age by inculcating right values in them, to build a better future, said Magsaysay Award winner super cop Dr Kiran Bedi here today.

Addressing the Hindustan Times-PACE Annual School Principals’ meet in the City, the Police Adviser in the UN Peace Keeping Department, Dr Bedi emphasised that nurturing of a child should be done at a tender age and the teachers should play the role of a gardener.

“Schools and teachers should try to bring 3H – head, heart and hand —  together for overall development of a child and the concept of ‘Shramdaan’ (contributory labour) be taught to students at a primary stage,” she stressed, saying that it would be a way to give back our dues to the society.

Emphasising strongly on time management, Dr Bedi said children should be taught the importance of time, budgeting and prioritising accordingly at a grass-roots level. Giving examples of her school days, she said schools and educational institutions could do a lot to develop all faculties of life within a child to make one a successful individual.

“The opportunity should not be missed and both teachers and parents must teach the child to know why one should adopt to a certain behaviour,” she reminded.

Dr Bedi said that children ought to learn natural laws vis-à-vis the cause & effect of the law. “And to make a deeper impression of it, teachers and parents should take recourse to imagery and live examples,” she advised.

Highlighting the importance of spiritual quotient (SQ), she said it helped in building a strong character in an individual. Recalling her service days as director-general at Tihar Jail, she said it was through ‘ethical therapy’, an outcome of SQ, that helped the jail inmates to become aware of the ‘self’ and bring improvement in their lives.

“I would suggest the same kind of practice to be inculcated among school children through yoga and meditation,” was her piece of advice.

As a final note, she advised that students be compulsorily encouraged to read biographies, Indian history and nurtured with human values, so that fruits could be enjoyed in future.

Speaking on “Human values and Indian ethos”, the founder-convener of Management Centre for Human Values, IIM-Calcutta, Dr S K Chakraborty said students should be taught to perform duties first and the rights follow automatically.

Citing examples from Mahabharat’s ‘Bhishma-Arjun dialogue’ and Ramayana’s Luv-Kush, he said in the name of rights – be it of any kind, the modern day has witnessed frictions in families, workplace and between a teacher and a student.

“Duties are the cause and rights are the effects. One should learn to respect ones duty, rather than harping on rights alone,” he advised.

Strongly advocating for the preservation of nation’s indigenous values, he lamented that the modern education in the country has been importing and injecting foreign values among Indian students. “No non-English speaking country uses English salutation, whereas in India, we do, instead of saying Namaste,” he lamented.

Quoting Shri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein, Dr Chakraborty said all have pointed out that a generation and culture could not prosper by losing ones own cultural roots and ethos. “Sorry to say, it’s happening today in India, unlike Japan and Germany, where it be could protected in spite of they growing economically stronger,” he lamented. 

Stressing on the importance of human values, the professor said human values concerned the domain of emotion and feelings; whereas intellect is used in subversive purpose. “The crux of Vedantic economics is to explore within ourselves, as the wholeness is lying within us,” he mentioned by quoting Kabir’s couplets.

Stating the bottom line of Indian ethos, Dr Chakraborty quoted President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, whereby he has said – “To make India ‘Jagadguru’ (world leader) – three elements ‘Punya Atma” (individual), Punya Neta (leader) and Punya Adhikari (official) – all three should increase in proportion in India’s population”. “And, this needs to be followed,” he signed-off.       

‘Urgent need for change in laws’
THE FIRST woman IPS officer of the country, Dr Kiran Bedi, today said that there was dire need for changes in the laws to suit the requirements of the society.

“The reforms in the law are necessary and the amendments have been proposed but unfortunately they are yet to be notified”, she said. Bedi, who set off a chain of reforms in Tihar Jail during her stint as IG (Prisons) said that she could have undertaken a few more reforms had she got another year at the same place.

“Around 10,000 prisoners in the jail were studying and we would have given them school-leaving certificates while leaving the prison apart from setting up different types of small-scale industrial units with joint venture of government and private sector in the jails where the inmates would work so that they could earn and not only pay the government their cost of imprisonment but also afford the education of their children”. 

“I wanted to make jail a place for research on psychology, criminology, human behaviour and other aspects”, Bedi said. “We were on the stage where we could have made the jail self-reliant but I don’t remain in past and have no regrets in life”, she added.

On the issue of atrocities against women, Bedi said that it was a reflection of growing violence in the society and declining values. Regarding cases of sexual harassment of women, she said that these are human follies. Education of boys should be done in such a manner that they respected women.

There is no field where women are not present these days, she added. sOn her post-retirement plans, Bedi said that she still has over three years of service and would decide on it later.