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Bharatbhai Gajipara’s visionary views on Education System

Bharat Gajipara

Bharat Gajipara is an example of living with passion and vision. Since his childhood he had the vision of education. He became teacher as to accomplish first step towards his big dream, and now runs Sarvodaya Educational Network which provides education to 6000 students studying in different standards.

Like many others, he wasn’t comfortable with education system but unlike others he chose his own path. He is a down to earth personality, man with deep thoughts about education and a visionary educationalist.

In this interview with SpeakBindas, he shares his educational journey and talks on various education related issues.

Videos of Interview

Part 1

Part 2

Excerpt of Interview

Q.: According to you, what can be called a good education?

A true education is the one where a person remains a human and not a machine after being educated. Education with systematic nurture which teaches to contribute to family, society and the nation is good education. A child should live his life by doing the activities that matches his passion. Education with such a passion can be the best of it.

Q.: You have worked as a teacher in a school too. What is it that inspired you to establish your own educational network?

My education has been full of struggles. I faced financial issues too for my education. I wasn’t happy with the education system and I always used to think of becoming a teacher myself. It was my dream rather.

After achieving this dream of mine when I became a teacher and started doing a job, again I was faced with the issues, rather limitations of education system where I couldn’t work with the desired liberty. It seemed like working by staying a packed box. Hence, being unhappy with it, I went ahead and established a small school on my own having sixty students to start with, which today has reached to 6000 students where education is given with the systematic nurture and development.
Awards and honors of Sarvodaya Educational Network

Awards and honors of Sarvodaya Educational Network

Q.: Tell us about the education system that you have adopted for Sarvodaya Educational Network.

We provide education from Nursery to Post Graduation. We provide education in a creative manner where depending on the age and choice of a student, he is allotted the according atmosphere such as we have a ground for sports activities, co-curricular activities matching different tastes of students etc. Our motto is to make sure that they don’t get bored with studies only and get their own space for their creativity too.

I believe that life is to enjoy. Real enjoyment comes from the association with nature. To satisfy this cause, we have developed an organic farm where we have planted number of various Ayurvedic plants, each having its own virtues and use. We take students to this organic and natural farm where they get to learn about nature by living there. Our motto is also to provide an atmosphere where they do love the nature and its beauty.

We also organize cultural programs which have some meaningful message to say.

Bharat Gajipara explaining the facilities being provided at school
Bharat Gajipara explaining the facilities being provided at school

Q.: It is said that the present burdensome educational system causes suicidal tendency in the innocent minds of students. Few students to also take this extreme step too. According to you, what’s the cause for this?

I believe that it’s the bugbear of our education system where students are made to believe that it’s only the percentage that they score in examinations is the true education system. To omit such thinking pattern from students’ and parents’ mind, we often mention during parents meetings and seminars that this percentage system is the test of memory and not the caliber or creativity of a student.

Few educational institutions have adopted such a pattern where they provide education for the purpose of getting more percentage only. This creates non-healthy competition atmosphere which is not good for every student. I believe that this is a sin for few educational institutions who are following such unhealthy pattern of providing education.

Bharat Gajipara in converastion

At our school, we have adopted the facility of advanced softwares in our classrooms where students learn their subjects with the touch screen boards, having a three dimensional layout of the things that they are studying, which gives them a practical feeling towards the subject. This helps them to become more creative.

Q.: Education is indeed costly these days. Not every parents can afford a good school for their talented child. In such a scenario, is there anything that can support the talented but financially weak students that Sarvodaya Educational Network is doing?

Yes. When we come across such a student, we surely provide the kind of support he deserves which can be free of charge education at our school by ourselves only, or we also help them find a donor who can provide the finance for their study. In addition to that, those underprivileged students who are orphan or have no one in family who earns money, our efforts are always there to provide them education at free of cost.

Various awards won by SEN

Q.: You run a big educational network where most of your day is dedicated to managing it and developing students with your guidance. In such a tight schedule, do you get enough time to spend with your family?

Of course. The real life is the one where a person spends enough time with his family while doing a business or a job. I have developed the working system such that my co-workers work based on it. They are dedicated to my thoughts and they put their efforts in working according to them. Thus, I can spend enough time for family as well as for social causes.

Q.: One of the virtues of your personality is that you gift a book to people who are around you on their birthday, anniversary or some good occasion. Why a book only and not other gift?

I have heard that, a home where five books are available is indeed well mannered one. A book can provide a new life to a person and provides strength to live a better life. Hence when I gift a book on someone’s birthday or anniversary or inauguration my intention is to provide strength to them in form of thoughts given in the book.

I also gift ‘Bhagwad Gita’, a spiritual scripture for the intention to provide them supportive thinking power.

Q.: Is there any incident that you remember that your gifting a book to someone made a change in his life?

I had gifted an inspirational book authored by Sanjeev Shah to someone who came to meet me. She had some issues with her husband and were living apart. After reading that book, she got positive towards life and her relationship. She called up her husband asking him to forget whatever had happened in past and agreed to live together again. I was told about this good news by her colleagues with a note to continue gifting book regularly.

Q.: It’s quite a common thing that education has become a business today. People often complain too about it. Being an educationalist, what you have to say about making good money with it keeping the basic norms of education intact. Is it tough or easy?

It is true to some extent that education has become a business today. People are diverted in a different direction. But I believe that in addition to making money with it, if we stick to basics of our Indian education system, it will be an effective and nurturing system.


Update 1: April 23, 2010

Photo slideshow of Cultural Program of Sarvodaya English School


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

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