Bengaluru, Dec. 23: D S Antuvan, a senior scientist at ISRO, Trivandrum, spoke to the students of St. Mary’s School here on the theme ‘Wonders of Childhood’ on Saturday, December 21.
Antuvan who was the chief guest at the Annual Day function at the school said he cherished the 50-year old memories of the school days. Still the reminiscences of school days rekindled his mind and it would continue till the end of life. The events of learning, games, competitions, mingling with students and interaction with staff members could remain an immortal and abiding experience.
Antuvan who joined ISRO in 1982 with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, an ISRO scientist himself and former Indian President, said it was not only learning the subject from school but it would be much more. “You come out of your home, leaving your loved parents to the school where the affection, care, orientation of your life is substituted by the teachers, staff and your classmates and make your life as cordial as your home”. Whenever, one goes to a Salesian institution (Don Bosco), the Fathers often say, ‘feel at home’ and so whenever “you come to this school you should feel happy, feel free and feel at home.” The schools are character building and life learning institutions in addition to giving the students education.
A school is a place to show the multitudes of one’s talents such as Language - the grammar, pronunciation, communication & writing skills; Various stage events – elocution, debate, play, dancing, singing and fancy dress; Physical - playing games, participation in scout, march past and drill; Friendship & relationship among friends and staff and sharing with students irrespective of language, caste and religion; Celebrations – on the occasions of Independence day, Republic day, children’s day, teacher’s day and school annual day.
School is a ‘Pool of Good’ things: A school management has introduced to remind students to drink water when the bell rings during morning, lunch and evening break times emphasizing children on ‘health conscious’; In another school, the student’s needs could vary, such as ‘eat & drink’, the stationary items are made available in a common place and students have to see the prize, pay the amount specified in each item and take it by themselves without any supervisor’s presence, thereby intuiting ‘self-consciousness’. Quoting St. John Bosco (Don Bosco), he said, whatever you do ‘God sees you’.
Yet at Loyola School in Kolkata, the Principal, Fr.Rodney, a Salesian, makes it a point to meet every student at the gate while entering the premises, creating a ‘friendly and loving environment’.
Green environment is followed within the campus in many schools so that children become ‘environment conscious’.
Most importantly, prayer, catechism or moral science helps bring reverence to God.
All these gamut of events shapes the children of today to become adult citizens of tomorrow.
Antuvan who is also World Councillor for South Asia of Salesian Cooperators reminded the students that “It is easy to correct a child than to repair an adult”. He exhorted the students saying, “My dear young students, I am sure that you are molded, groomed, well-formed and will be a well behaved adult while leaving this institution”. Hence, the school provides an integral education that helps you in addition to learning, become a responsible citizen and later a caring spouse and parent, with concern and readiness to help others.
The honourable union minister for Power & Energy, Piyush Goyal, a Past Pupil of Don Bosco, Mumbai while participating in the Alumni meeting recently, mentioned that “The school days are the formative years of my life”. He was appreciative of the effort put by teachers and staff for their sacrifice in grooming, nurturing the students into a well disciplined and good citizens of the future.
The whole development needed for the future of students takes place in the school and in their childhood days. This is the reason why the school days are ever remembered.
After 11th Std Antuvan continued his higher education in B.Sc., B.Tech and M.Tech. That has led him to join in ISRO, a prestigious organization and later to become a Senior Scientist too. So, higher studies would help all to shape their future and position them in good prospects. Hence, Antuvan exhorted the students to pursue their higher studies, acquire knowledge and venture into different fields of work, according to each one’s ability and interest. Therefore, the education what one gets at St. Mary’s Convent School would be of utmost important, a stepping stone and a solid foundation for their future.
What one has to do is to dream of one’s future like Dr. APJ Abul Kalam , who used to say “Dream, dream, dream! Conduct these dreams into thought and then transform them into action”. As a person who worked with Dr. Kalam. Antuvan said he would appreciate him for his ‘Art of Listening and Accompaniment’ of his colleagues.
ISRO has done commendable performance through successful rocket launches with indigenous cryogenic engine, the ‘Fat Boy’ rocket GSLV-MK3, Chandrayaan missions to moon, Mangalyaan satellite to Mars and launching of 104 satellites in a single rocket which is a world record. It was all possible through dedicated, concentrated and team effort, the senior scientist explained.
Antuvan who was Coordinator of Provincial Council of Salesian Cooperators of Bangalore Province for six years told a true story of a nephew of his colleague from Hyderabad who went for a two years of M.S. degree study in U.S. He completed two M.S programmes in the same two years period. “So, dear parents, do not under estimate the potential of your children.”
To the students, he said, what students must have could be the self-confidence, passion for study, hard work and perseverance till one achieves his or her goal. These achievements may not be possible in a day or in a short time, like an instant coffee that their mothers prepare. He also urged them not to try to do things through short cut methods or unreasonable ways to meet their goals. “Life is not a sprint but a marathon. “So take your time for everything; be focused on your set goal and the rest you leave it to God.”
He assured them that the Lord would reward their set goals which could be accomplished with righteousness. “You will be a proud son or daughter for your parents, a student for your teacher and a citizen for the Nation”. He cited yet another quote of Dr. Kalam and requested all students to repeat after him: “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character.
When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in home”.
The humble and unassuming scientist also asked the parents to do three things: ‘Be kind to your children: For your children to be happy in life, bring them up as God-fearing children so that they would respect their parents, brothers and sisters. Support your children to study higher and higher depending on their capacity. The investment you make on studies would be the best investment. Encouragement is better than correction because, “Correction does much, but encouragement does much more” (John Wolfgang von Goethe). So, do encourage your children’.
The three things he particularly told the students include: ‘There are abundant talents given to each and every one of you by God. So be self-confident and you can do wonders; there is nothing that is impossible for the students and sky is the limit. What you must have is the conviction; perseverance and sincere effort till you achieve your goal. Cheerfulness and good humour should always rein your life.’ Quoting the words of Saint Theresa of Kolkata, he said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”
To conclude his relevant talk, the experienced scientist, a man of God who gives stress to spiritual life said, “Childhood days in school are the wonderful days of life not only for you, the young stars of the future, but for every one of us here.” The resource person scientist wished all present a ‘Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2020.’
Earlier, the School Principle, Sr.Shrada, welcomed Antuvan to deliver the talk which students along with all others were avidly awaiting for long. Among others present included Sr.Auxilia, Sr. Angali, Staff members, School management and parents.
(A brief description of the scientist speaker: Worked in SLV-3, ASLV, Projects 82-94, Later worked in GSLV Project as Deputy Project Director 95-2007, then in RLV Project 2007-2011 as Deputy Project Director. Then again in GSLV Project 2011-2014 and for successful launch of GSLV-D5 mission with indigenous Cryogenic engine. Later, 2014-2017 taken charge as Project Director, Hypersonic Wind Tunnels Project and successfully commissioned Mach12 tests. At present he is consultant at VSSC, SLV- Satellite Launch Vehicle ASLV-Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV- Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle RLV- Reusable Launch Vehicle.)
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