They say “A Teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.” Every adult has been shaped into the person they are by some teacher of the other during their growing-up years. Your life-altering teacher may have been the one at your school, or the one who gave you private lessons, or your sports coach, or even your parents. But did you know that there were many great teachers in our country who shaped the youth of the nation and made a mark in history with their teachings? Here are a few iconic teachers from India whose contribution to the development and education of this nation are unparalleled till today!
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad was not only one of the greatest Presidents of India, but also one of the most inspiring teachers that the country had ever seen. This great man was an eminent scientist at DRDO and ISRO, and had lectured thousands of eager students on various subjects of science in his lifetime. He was, indeed, such a passionate teacher, that he even took his last breath while lecturing students at IIM, Shillong. And the fact that he said, “Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow” proves what a great mentor to the country’s youth he had been!
This iconic lady was the social reformer who pioneered the cause for girls’ education in India. She, along with her husband Jyotirao Phule, founded the country’s first girls’ school in Pune in 1848. Thus, she was also the first teacher to impart education to girls, bringing about a great change in the Indian education system. This revolutionary teacher was also a noted poet and had even worked for the cause of rape victims, which was a progressive step during those times. Said to be one of the “first generation modern Indian feminists”, Savitribai Phule had worked hard to fight for women’s rights in India, and hence goes down in history as not only an inspiring teacher, but a great human being!
For a teacher who has dedicated his time and effort for making you the person you are today, a classic timepiece makes for a perfect gift. This Teacher’s Day, give him or her a timeless watch to show that you still acknowledge their contribution in your life.
Considered to be one of the greatest yoga teachers in the world, yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar had founded the style of yoga practice, which is now known as the ‘Iyengar Yoga’ style. This Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan winner spent his life teaching yoga to thousands of students, not only in India, but all around the world. He was an intense and strict teacher of the ancient Indian discipline, and till date, whenever his students indulge in yoga (even at home), they are said to give it their very best effort, just by thinking of his strict ways of teaching! The great man had once said, “When I practice, I am a philosopher, when I teach I am a scientist, when I demonstrate I am an artist”, and he was, all that and more!
Dr. Asima Chatterjee
One of the most noted among Indian chemists, Dr. Asima Chatterjee was the first woman to get a Doctorate of Science from an Indian university. Her exemplary work in the field of organic chemistry resulted in successful developments of anti-cancer medicines and anti-epileptic & anti-malarial drugs by her. In 1940, she joined the Lady Brabourne college under Calcutta University as the founding head of the Department of Chemistry, and passed on her knowledge on the subject to hundreds of students in the years to come. Her teaching career also saw her inspire the country’s youth as the Honorary Lecturer in Chemistry at Calcutta University. This iconic lady was also the first woman scientist to become the General President of the Indian Science Congress Association.
This Indian Jewish poet is known as founding father of postcolonial Indian literature, specially in English. Nissim Ezekeil was a Sahitya Akademi awardee, who inspired others and established Indian English poetry in modern India. He influenced thousands of young minds as the Head of the English Department at Mithibai College in Bombay, and was also a visiting faculty at the University of Leeds, as well as the University of Pondicherry. Such was his contribution to shaping the Indian youth and bringing about progress in Indian English writing, that his poems are still used as part of the curriculum in NCERT & ICSE textbooks.
Your teacher has passed on her most precious gems – the gems of knowledge – to you, so that you grow up to be a successful human being. Now, it’s your turn to gift her a precious jewellery to show her that her teachings are what makes you shine, even today!