The invitation landed in my mail box it had a subject “Graduation Day : An invitation to a miracle of our times”. Interesting right? I knew what it was all about, I decided to go, first because of the person sending the invitation, secondly because I had missed to attend the first event, so I thought I will make it up by going now.
What to expect from this event I had no clue. Rakesh Sharma, India’s Cosmonaut, will be the Chief Guest for the Graduation Ceremony. So I went there. It started with bajans and all went on like any other function, until one moment when one of the Graduates filled the stage. He started his talks and I was off balance. I had not expected this. I was dumbstruck .
The next graduate came up, the next one followed… totally nine of them walked up to the stage and made their speech. I was lost into their world. I can’t say the exact words they said, but I will say a few of them in the same lines as they spoke. All had similar thoughts to disclose.
One of the graduates spoke “………….school for me was a building, where my friends had the privilege to go, we had no money, my father could not send me to school, I worked in my farm to support my father and then worked 4 hours for other owners and grazed their cows and buffalos, with this we could manage our meals. I always wanted to study, when young I thought there will come a day when I can also go to school. But as I got older when all my friends completed studies and started working, I lost all hopes, I can no longer dream of going to a school at my age. ……. Then one day some people came to my village to interview and help us study, I got selected…….In a period of 6 months I learnt to speak English, learnt to be confident, learnt computers…. I went back to my village after 6 months and my mother looked at me and said ‘sir, please come in and sit down’ … she could not recognize her son……..”
All graduates had similar story to say… and all stood in the same platform today. People who have not stepped into school , not got out of the village ever, are standing in front of a huge gathering and talking in fluent English with full confidence and high level of enthusiasm.
The parents of all graduates had come, not understanding what their children are saying, but knowing it is good, as the whole crowd clapped. I was talking to a proud mother of one graduate from a village near Raichur, she had no other word other than saying ‘nana maga.. (my son)’, holding my hand tight and with a big big smile and that smile spoke all the rest.
When Mr Rakesh Sharma spoke about India and its potential and how we have to bring out the talent hidden in our villages and how we have to play our role in empowering people and take the country forward, it surely can get into the blood veins.
Mr Tushar A Gandhi, the Mahatma’s great grandson, spoke (recorded video) congratulating the graduates, said Gandhiji always spoke about the 7 sins, which should not be existent in a society, there should be a eighth one, he said – Talent without opportunity.
I came out of the event with a question in mind how many of us misuse opportunities?