Most Mumbai schools and colleges skipped the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas celebrations held on Friday, on the occasion of Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary. The government initiative got a lukewarm response from colleges and schools, which are scheduled to reopen from November 3 and November 7 respectively.
“We could not celebrate the anniversary today, as our school is going to reopen next week,” said Ganesh Parameswaran, principal, Bal Bharati School, Navi Mumbai.
Last week, the University Grants Commission (UGC), Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) and the state education board had asked all affiliated schools and universities to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31. The circular, issued by CBSE, directed schools to ensure that students took a pledge for national unity, participated in a run for unity and other activities.
Deepshikha Srivastava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri, said celebrations will be held when the school reopens. Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santacruz, said, “Our school participated in the celebration in a symbolic manner, with some students participating in a run for unity along with members of the staff.”
City colleges, however, skipped the celebrations because of Diwali vacations and semester examinations. Manju Nichani, principal, KC College, Churchgate, said, “Our college is a centre for semester examinations. Our priority was exams over the anniversary celebrations. Also, we could not ask students to come in during their holidays.”
Jyoti Thakur, vice principal, Jai Hind College, Churchgate, said, “We were unable to celebrate the birth anniversary as the college was cordoned off for the government’s swearing-in ceremony at Wankhede stadium. We will celebrate it once college reopens.”
Shobana Vasudevan, principal, Podar College of Commerce, Matunga, said, “We celebrated the anniversary in a symbolic way with staff members and a few students.”
Around 4,000 students from the National Service Scheme (NSS) wing of Mumbai University participated in the ‘run for unity’ and took a pledge for unity at Marine Drive on Friday.