I am delighted to address and interact with the students of St Ann?s Junior College for Girls at Hyderabad. My greetings to Principal, Teachers, Staff, Students, and distinguished guests assembled here. I am happy that St Ann?s College has a vision to create a just society which special emphasis on ensuring dignity, rights and freedom to the women and children. It is impressive that this college caters to the educational needs of economically weaker sections of the society in Hyderabad and empowering the women with modern education backed with ancient philosophy, tradition and culture. When I am with you young friends, I would like to share few thoughts on the topic I am born with greatness.
Dear Friends, when I see you all, first I would like to share with you something interesting. Positive thoughts are a biological mandate for a happy healthy life. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
Your beliefs become your thoughts Your thoughts becomes your words Yours words become your actions Yours actions become your habits Yours habits become your values Yours values becomes your destiny.
So, dear friends, your destiny starts from your belief. That is why I said, positive thoughts are a biological mandate for a happy healthy life. Let me now describe the criteria for achievement for the youth.
Criteria for achievement for youth
How does achievement come? There are four proven steps; having a great aim in life before 20 years of age, acquiring knowledge continuously, hard work towards the aim and perseverance to defeat the problem and succeed. In this connection let me recall the famous verses of 13th century Persian Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi:
Wings to Fly "You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideas and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don?t, you have wings. Learn to use them to fly."
- Jalaluddin Rumi - 13th Century Persian Sufi Poet
My message to you, young friends, is that education gives you wings to fly. Achievement comes out of fire in our sub-conscious mind that "I will win". So, each one of you assembled here and elsewhere, will have "Wings of Fire". The Wing of Fire will indeed lead to knowledge which will make you to fly as a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a scientist, or a teacher, or a political leader, or a bureaucrat or a diplomat or anything you want to be. You all can do it.
Women of indomitable spirit
Dear friends, let me share with you four examples drawn from unique personalities, the first is compassionate mind ?Sister Antonio; second Prof Wangari Maathai of Kenya, who took up planting of trees as planting an idea; third is Madam Madeleine de Blic who came from Belgium to India to pursue her mission of service to humanity, and fourth, Madam Curie who was the first one to be honoured with Nobel Prize twice in different fields.
Sometime back, I was reading a book called "Everyday Greatness". I would like to share one event which is essential component of our development today. Today, what we need is a leadership with compassion. Let me narrate one experience which happened in Mexico.
A riot was raging in La Mesa Prison in Mexico. Twenty five hundred prisoners were packed into a compound, which had been built for only six hundred. They angrily hurled broken bottles at the police who fired back with machine guns. Then came a startling sight. A tiny five feet two inches, sixty three year old woman, calmly got into the crowd, with outstretched hands, in a simple gesture of peace. Ignoring the shower of bullets, she stood quietly and asked every one to stop. Incredibly every one did. No one else in the world, but sister Antonia could have done this. Why did the people listen to her? All because of her decades of service to the prisoners by her choice. She sacrificed all her life for the sake of prisoners lived in the midst of murderers, thieves and drug lords all of whom she called her sons. She attended their needs round the clock, procured antibiotics, distributed eyeglasses, washed bodies for the burial and counseled the suicidal. This selfless act of love and compassion generated the respect among the prisoners to control themselves and urged them to do what she wanted them to do. What a great message for humanity? We have seen a leader with compassion is there for even prisoners, but we need leaders with compassion for the voiceless people of millions in the world.
Planting of trees is the planting of ideas
Prof Maathai gave a new meaning to the important act of planting a tree by extending it to the whole life, when she said, "the planting of trees is the planting of idea." She highlights the qualities of patience, persistence and commitment in planning and realizing a future, which is what we learn when we plant trees and wait for them to yield fruits for the next generation. She believed that no matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for. The silver lining will come, if not to us then to the next generation or the generation after that. And may be with that generation, the lining will no longer be thin. India values Prof Maathai?s involvement and contribution in furthering the relationship between India and Kenya and had the privilege of honouring her with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for the year 2005. She concludes her Nobel Lecture on December 10, 2004 like this: quote, "As I conclude I reflect on my childhood experience when I would visit a stream next to our home to fetch water for my mother. I would drink water straight from the stream? I saw thousands of tadpoles: black, energetic and wriggling through the clear water against the background of the brown earth. This is the world I inherited from my parents". Prof. Mathaai would like all of us to preserve this inheritance.
A Lady with a Mission to Give Service
Friends, few weeks back, I visited Puducherry to participate in the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Volontariat. This mission of Volontariat was started by Madam Madeleine de Blic who came from Belgium to India in 1962, to pursue her mission of service to humanity. Over the last five decades, this mission have empowered large number of children with education, facilitated re-habilitation of women and senior citizens and promoted organic farming in the local fields. When I looked at the service rendered by Volontariat, I am reminded of the advice given by the mother of Mahatma Gandhiji to Gandhiji when he was nine year old.
"Son, in your entire life time if you can save or better someone's life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success. You have the blessing of the Almighty God".
Madam Madeleine has saved thousands of lives in the last five decades and we are all grateful to her for this unique service. When I met her, I saw in her the service spirit of Florence Nightingale. The people lovingly call her "Amma! Madaleine Amma!" and these words of kindness radiate everywhere.
Scientific mind enriches the world
Madam Curie's life has been full of challenges. She was not afraid of the problems, she defeated the problems and succeeded. This experience of Madam Curie will definitely be an inspiration for all the women of the present and future generations.
Working together, it took Marie and her husband Pierre four years to isolate the radioactive source in a mixture of pitch-blend. Madam Curie used to carry a large quantity of pitch-blend on her head for extracting few grams of material in the laboratory which needed tons of ?pitch-blend?. That few grams of the material were her discovery. Marie named it as radium. For the discovery of radium, Marie and Pierre won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903, which they shared with their friend A. Henri Becquerel. Shortly, Marie found that what she had discovered was not pure radium, but she was able to isolate the element itself after quite a struggle. For this work, she was given the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911.
During her work, Marie discovered radiation could kill human cells. She reasoned that if it could kill healthy human cells, it could kill diseased human cells also and went about isolating radium for use in killing tumors. During the First World War, Marie Curie went to work for the French designing and building X-ray machines. Knowing that moving soldiers to a hospital before they needed surgery was not always possible, she designed the first mobile X-ray machine and traveled with it along the front lines during the war. On July 4, 1934, Marie Curie died in Paris, killed by her own experiments. She died of radiation poisoning and may have been the first person to do so. Through the knowledge she gained, thousands of lives have been saved. The courage and perseverance shown by Madame Curie in her pursuit of scientific mission and achieving successes are indeed remarkable and stimulating.
From the four great minds, what do we learn? Sister Antonio gave a message of compassion; Wangari Maathai taught how to succeed in an environmental mission by sheer invincible hard work; Madaleine Amma exhibited creation of an indomitable spirit through continuous selfless service; and Madam Curie demonstrated that working tirelessly on any mission will lead to accomplishment. I am sure, the members of this College would like to emulate the traits possessed by these great personalities.
National mathematical year
As you all are aware 2012 has been declared as the National Mathematical Year as a tribute to mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. I would like to share my thoughts on Ramanujan with all of you, so that all of you can emulate his example of promoting excellence in mathematics and making the nation proud.
A genius well ahead of time: Ramanujan, born and raised in Erode, Tamil Nadu, first encountered formal mathematics at the age of ten. He demonstrated a natural ability at mathematics, and was given books on advanced trigonometry by S. L. Loney. He mastered this book by age thirteen, and even discovered theorems of his own. He demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning many awards. By the age of seventeen, Ramanujan was conducting his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler?Mascheroni constant. He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam. He failed his non-mathematical coursework, and lost his scholarship. Srinivasa Ramanujan lived only for 33 years and did not have formal higher education or means of living. Yet, his inexhaustible spirit and love for his subject made him contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research - some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians' efforts to establish formal proofs. Ramanujan was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Prof G H Hardy. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered Ramanujan for the world. Professor Hardy rated various geniuses on a scale of 100. While most of the mathematicians got a rating of around 30 with rare exceptions reaching to 60, Ramanujan got a rating of 100. There cannot be any better tribute to either Ramanujan or to Indian heritage.
Ramanujan used to say "An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God". For him the understanding of numbers was a process of spiritual revelation and connection. In his investigations into pure mathematics, he drew extraordinary conclusions that mystified his colleagues, but were usually proven, eventually, to be right. He opened a universe of theory that still today is reaping applications. The landscape of the infinite was to Ramanujan a reality of both mathematics and spirit. His love for numbers led Ramanujan to number theory.
Conclusion: Emerging Women
While I am with the motivated students and teachers of St Ann?s College, I would like to share with you the thought process of the great poet Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar, who in 1910 composed the poem envisioning women of India. When I visited his grand-daughter Smt. Lalitha Bharathiyar on 25 July 2008, she recited the great song of 1910 on emerging women of poet's visualization:
This beautiful poem brings out the profile of emerging women.
Emerging Women She walks with raised head, With her eyes looking straight, She has her principles, Unafraid of anybody! She has a lofty And knowledge based pride, Such cultured women, Don't falter from the chosen path. She drives ignorance away. She welcomes the bliss of life. With learned mind, This is the Dharma Of emerging woman.
The dream of the poet, I am sure, will become a reality of life for the students of St Ann?s Junior College for Girls, Hyderabad.
My best wishes to all of you for success in your educational mission.
May God Bless you.
Oath for the Students
1. I will bring a change in the life of 100 women in education, employment or healthcare.
2. I will promote courage and self reliance, particularly among women.
3. I will work continuously to remove gender discrimination and crime against women and children.
4. I will promote righteousness in the heart that will blossom the beauty in the character among citizens.
5. I will light the lamp of knowledge in the nation and ensure that it remains lit for ever.
6. Wherever I am, I will always be remembered by my thought, word and action as a student or alumni of St. Ann's College.
7. My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.
Dear APJ.Abdul Kalam,
Civil liberties Monitoring Committee received the information that you have visited the Hyderabad city to attend a function at St Ann's college.We came to know that because of your security reasons Muslim Burqa clad girls not allowed participate in programme.college authorities and your security restricted Muslims.Civil liberties committee express its deep concern and anguish on this.We strongly condemn this anti Muslim attitude of college authorities and your security officers.we believe it an attack on Identity and self respect of Muslims.I think you can better understand the situation because once this type of bad experience occurred with u in US, in this same manner UZAMA a student of St Ann's college had face the humiliation discrimination on the name of your security. What is the problem to you with burqa clad Muslim girl students participate or coordinate the "Interaction session".Because of this incident this student has lost the confidence on secular democratic fabric of India,the idea of India has completely shaken I question, why would the former President of a secular country, include in his security conditions, the need to remove a harmless piece of cloth, an identity, from a woman.Why? Why would an innocent scarf on a girl's head, be considered as AGAINST somebody's security? I would take this day, as an insult.
Civil liberties Committee wants clarification from your side and answer the questions raised by Uzma.I hope you will respond positively in the greater interest of humanity and to protect to cause of of civil liberties of the people of India.Mr abdul kalam giving the lecture in z security cover is very easy but to feel the pain of victim of discrimination and humiliation is very difficult,only those who respect human values can understand it.Now this committee wants to know what you have feel after knowing the pain and sorrow...
Lateef Mohammed Khan
Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee
Hyderabad A.P.India 50001
10 DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS ST.ANNS JUNIOOR COLLEGE,MEHDIPATNAM,HYDERABADPosted OnAug 04 2012 07:01:57
We sincerely thank you sir for your august presence in our college on 30-7-2012 .we are inspired by your divine and powerful message.we feel more committed and more responsible towards inculcating values in our student community which may inturn make them good citizens ,contributing their share in making India a developed nation.
The first comment was not on my behalf, the stir has been caused because of my note on FACEBOOK. I never intended to cause damage or hurt anybody's feelings through it. This is only a part of the article that I have written, but if you read my full article I have mentioned that I NEVER INTENDED TO HURT ANYBODY'S FEELINGS. All I wanted was to share my feelings with limited friends, but without my notice it has circulated on the internet. I do not want to make a public issue out of it. My teacher had apologized to me on 30th July 2012 on my note. Neither she, nor I had ever anticipated that it would create so much of stir.
I was one of the volunteers in the programme and was going to coordinate the "Interaction session". Tension, joy and extreme frenzy were the mixed emotions going on through me. I reach the college and practice the session a few times. Just as me and my friend were exchanging gags and chatter, one of my teacher comes to me and whispers "Uzma, you might like the idea of removing your scarf". I was confused. I asked her, "Why, ma'am?". She replied, "Security reasons." An unknown feeling pulled me in. Maybe she recognised that look on my face and she just went. And then some other teachers came up to convince me into removing my scarf. I apologetically refused each time someone came and asked me to do it. I was slowly sinking in. When persuaded intensly, I became rigid. Refused, debated my way out of their requests to "cooperate" with the security conditions. Some of the teachers said, "We had already informed the students about the security conditions. The conditions were, they said, NO BURQAS AND SCARVES ALLOWED.
I, before this day, considered myself as a proud and free citizen of a democratic, socialist, secular and a liberal India. Today my pride has weakened a bit, a little disturbed and shaky. I question. Why would the former President of a secular country, include in his security conditions, the need to remove a harmless piece of cloth, an identity, from a woman? Burqa and scarf were briefly being mentioned as if they were AK47s and Grenades. Why? Why would an innocent scarf on a girl's head, be considered as AGAINST somebody's security? I would take this day, as an insult. At the end of the day, all I know is. Many of the girls of my college were deprived of meeting their country's former President because they chose Burqa over his security. I and my friend were deprived of being a volunteer because we were wearing a scarf. Isn't this enough to hurt the sentiments of a religion? All I wanted was, to be allowed to PRACTICE MY RELIGION FREELY AND PROUDLY.
Thank u sir.... Thank u soo much. I never thought in my life i would see u nd listen to your speech lively.... i was soo excited to see u.i will remember this day for my whole life. Thanks God for this opportunity :)
I am glad you came to our college. i am inspired by your words and feel blessed to be a part of St. Ann's college, Mehdipatnam, Hyd. It makes me feel that inspiring words, inspiring personalities visit, adds to the sanctity of the institutions. I will try to make every small good difference, which is possible through me in this big world. Thank you Sir...
I Raheela Kausar Sheema B.P.C student express my gratefulness , for your auspicious presence at ST' ANNS COLLEGE (30/07/2012).
I would like to express heartfelt thank to you,for your esteemed presence & encouragement.
I am indeed grateful for the gift of your time & the honour of your presence.
"THANK YOU SIR"!!!!
I am really blessed to meet Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam today at St.Ann's college. I enjoyed every part of the event and was inspired with his speech! Thank you sir. These lines caught my mind, "Son, in your entire life time if you can save or better someone's life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success. You have the blessing of the Almighty God".