‘From the mentor : Reminiscences and a shared vision …’
First, I met Babu Ji (Dr. D.P. Pandey) during a chance visit to Mussorie and Manava Bharati in early seventies. Was hesitant to interact but soon found myself nearer to him – don’t know how it all happened. Sensing my hesitation and lack of words Babu ji encouraged education. None of my letters ever went unanswered and there I realized the essesnce of greatness and generousity in Babuji . He was showing interest in the subjects I shared from the villages of Bihar where I worked with. He started sharing issues on and invited me to the prayers, discussions and walk throughs. The feeling, for me was ecstatic and humbling. With a sense of great accomplishment I returned back to Patna and kept communicating with him touching upon various subjets centerd around institution building and his thoughts on education as a transformational intervention in building of an inclusive and creative society. It was enchanting to hear from him his experiences of Shanti Niketan and his time with Guru Ravidra Nath Tagore. With no opportunity of any exposure to the outside world, I felt better informed and accomplished. The most important aspect of Babu Ji’s persona was his humility and attention he would pay to anything one can bring for discussion.
The last string of discussions, before his sad demise, included exploring possiblities of visiting Bihar and iniating child centric educational activities as an instituional intervention.
When I learned that Pradeep and his wife Monika
have established Manava Bharati International School (MBIS), Patna I had great feeling. Association of Dr.
Himashu Shekhar, in the pursuit, was encouraging
and reassuring. I felt the vision and hope of Babu
Ji getting re-kindled through MBIS. I was not sure,
however, about which way things would turn. I first
visited MBIS during an event and was impressed to
see the ambience and infrastructure, especially the
architecture. My interaction with Pradeep and Mona
was positive which continued and extended to many
more sessions with the students and the teachers.
We decided to plan a visit of the children and the teachers to the Anghyela Hills where Babuji’s dream school was located. We could observe the children and the teachers enjoying the serene environment and exploring and inspiring setting. I, too, kept contemplating! What an inspiration and impact the visit seemed to have spelt! A stray incidence taught me lessons to remember. The incident resonated what Babu ji might have cherished!.