Educating children highest form of patriotism, will develop society: Kejriwal
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged people to educate their children, calling it “the biggest step towards developing the society”. He also announced that the Delhi government will celebrate Valmiki Jayanti in a grand way annually from this year.
Paying tributes to Maharshi Valmiki at an event hosted by the Delhi Sanskrit Academy at Thyagaraj Stadium, Kejriwal said, “The three lessons given by Maharishi Valmiki are respecting women, education, and compassion. I ask you all, not for votes or money, but to promise me that no matter what happens, you will provide your children with the best standard of education possible: this is the highest form of patriotism right now. If all our children flourish, so will the country.”
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, deputy speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Rakhi Birla and several other dignitaries also attended the event.
Kejriwal said the event will be an annual affair in Delhi. “Today a very healthy tradition is being commenced here. Up until last year, Valmiki Prakatotsav was celebrated well within the communities. However, this is the first time the Delhi government has involved all the people of Delhi and eminent individuals at such a grand scale to come together to commemorate the works of Maharishi Valmiki. And this will continue for years to come,” said Kejriwal.
Maharishi Valmiki is worshipped by sections of the Dalit community. The call to hold celebrations is interesting because Kejriwal often commences Aam Aadmi Party’s campaigns ahead of polls from a Valmiki Temple on Mandir Marg in the national capital.
Assembly elections are due in many states next year, including Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, and AAP is looking to strengthen its base outside Delhi by launching poll campaigns in some of these states.
The chief minister also felicitated 22 meritorious students who studied in Delhi government’s schools. “Till now, financial obstacles were holding back many families from educating their children. Private schools were expensive and government schools were in a sad state. The 22 students that have been recognised today have all studied from government schools, proving the enhanced standard in these schools and making education a lot more accessible as compared to the exorbitant fees charged by public schools. Do not make your children work, educate them instead. Encourage them as much as possible,” he said.
Kejriwal said his government not only ensured free coaching after Class 12, but also provided a loan of ₹10 lakh for higher education. The government also bears the cost if any student wants to pursue doctorate or other courses from any foreign university, he said.