On Teachers Day

Today, September 5th is celebrated as Teachers Day all over India. A day when we give recognition to one of the most undervalued professions in India.

I owe a lot of what I am and what I have done to wonderful teachers all through my education process. To name but a few would be injustice to others.

Last year I wrote about Teachers Day, and the thoughts are still the same today. So are the concerns.

There is a very heartening article on the TOI article about one teacher who has in his way made education more than a profession, and into a life mission.

Read the article below. If you havent done so already, take a little time off and wish your past teachers a happy teachers day. It will bring a smile and a flood of happy memories on their face. You will have made their day.

At 85, IIT-Kgp founder-teacher is still a favourite

For 52 years IIT-Kharagpur has been his home, and it will continue to be so. Forty-nine of the 50 teachers whom the government chose to build the country’s first IIT have departed, but at 85, G S Sanyal shows no sign of aging. He is not even tired, he wakes up every morning to help take the institute to a newer heights.

Right from the director of the institute to the guard, Sanyal is ‘sir’ to everyone. And whatever the official teachers’ day programme at the institute may be, the campus community unfailingly drops by to wish him on September 5.

Sanyal graduated from the department of applied physics of the Calcutta University (CU) in 1943.

He then joined the All India Radio and worked for it in Kolkata, Delhi and Dhaka. Thereafter, he got selected by the government for a scholarship to study electronics, radars and radios in UK, where he stayed till 1950.

However, he never wanted to settle abroad and returned to join CU as a lecturer in its Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics.

It was from here that he was picked up by the Jawaharlal Nehru government to join the newly-formed IIT-Kharagpur, from where he retired in 1987 as its director.

But the institute was in no mood to let him go because by then Sanyal had helped his department of electronics and electrical communication engineering attain global acclaim. The institute wanted him to stay on in an advisory capacity..

So from helping the institute with its new initiatives — Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park (STEP) and the Vinod Gupta School of Management, to designing the vision document of the institute and taking ‘technology to the villages’ — Sanyal is the key.

Moreover, he is considered to be the best teacher of electro magnetics and wireless communications in the country and has won the highest awards in the world in his subject.

Ever since he retired, universities abroad have been requesting him to join them — University of Florida, University of Stanford, University of California, University of San Francisco and Concordia University of Montreal, to name a few. But his affair with IIT-Kgp is far from over.

“Let alone joining another institute, I even refused to join my son who lives abroad. There’s much to be done at the institute here and I cannot imagine a life outside,” Sanyal says, choosing to ignore his chronic pulmonary disease.

Among those who will call Sanyal to wish him a happy teacher’s day is S K Dube, director of the institute, who says, “Whenever there’s a problem, we look up to him for a solution and believe me, he always has one.

He remains students’ favourite even till date, because of his wealth of knowledge. You will see a steady train of students surrounding him with their problems after classes.”

Most of the senior faculty members, who have been his students, agree. R V Rajakumar, who was Sanyal’s student about two-and-a-half-decades back, and is now dean of the institute’s academic affairs, says, “Sanyal is a wizard with his subject. I had the option of going to any IIT, I wanted to, but I chose IIT-Kgp just to be his student and to this day I am one.”

Another student Madhusudan Chakraborty, now deputy director of the institute, says, “His very presence is a source of comfort to all of us. He is aptly called the grand old man of IIT-Kgp.”

2 Comments

  1. Dr. C.R.Kamath September 2, 2007

    Alexander the great had said; “I owe my birth to my father but my life to my Teacher” It is the same for me.I have one teacher from my elementary school days, who is still with us. He has just touched 100 and still alert in mind and body.He laid the foundation on being a good human being.He in later years opend my eyes to the saying of Yagnavalka “He alone does not live in vain who employs his wealth, his thought and speach for the good of others”
    His name is Sri Krishnaraya Shenoy.

  2. Yashvant September 3, 2007

    Let’s celebrate Teacher’s Day with lots of fun. Lets pay respect to these Teachers which are our parents in our School Life Our teachers are always very special. They make learning a wonderful experience for us. But it’s not often that we thank these wonderful people who help in building that foundation on which our dreams and desires stand. On World Teachers’ Day, reach out to all those splendid people with our ecards and tell them how important they are to you and to the society.

    Happy Teacher’s Day

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