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‘I want to thank all the parents, including mine, for having chosen Apeejay at the right time of our lives and shaping us, says Dr Garima Mittal, IAS

Apeejay School, Faridabad, Sector-15 celebrated its Annual Appreciation Day; the event was dedicated to India’s 75 years of Independence

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It is not often that one sees the culmination of a celebration to mark India’s 75 years of Independence with that of a school’s Annual Appreciation Day.  But on December 24, 2022, when the students of Apeejay School, Faridabad (Sector-15) took to the stage on their Annual Appreciation Day themed – Amritotsav-The Elixir of Self-reliance – that is precisely what transpired.

The event was graced by the chief guest Dr Garima Mittal, IAS, Administrator, HSVP, Faridabad and Additional Chief Executive Officer, Faridabad Metropolitan Development Authority and Padma Shri Award recipient Kumari Devayani who was the guest of honour.

Mrs Sushma Paul Berlia, Co-Promoter and President of Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, Chairperson, Apeejay Education, and Co-Founder and Chancellor of Apeejay Stya University could not be present to preside over the function due to an urgent commitment.

Other eminent guests who lent grace to the occasion with their presence were Education Officers Mr DK Bedi and Mrs Purnima Vohra from Apeejay Education; Nilesh Dahiya, an alumnus (pilot with Indigo Airlines also graced the function as a special guest along with other elite alumni of Apeejay School, Faridabad; RWA presidents, Mr Makhija (Sector-14) and Mr Neeraj Chawla (Sector-15) were also present.

The theme – Amritotsav-The Elixir of Self-reliance – resonates with the celebration of 75 glorious years of progressive India and its rich history and diversity and magnificent culture; it is an ode to our Motherland and recalls the contributions made by those who dedicated their lives for the country, protected it and fulfilled the country’s resolution.

The function began with the chief guest and other eminent guests being welcomed by the school band followed by the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the VIPs present to pay obeisance to the divine power with the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra. The principal, Mrs Anita Yadav welcomed the distinguished guests by giving green saplings.

Dr Garima Mittal, in her speech, motivated the students to work to their full potential until they realise their objectives. “Though I stand on this stage as a chief guest, I stand here as a student. I am an alumna of Apeejay School, Pitampura, and the day Anita ma’am came to my room and requested that I be the chief guest at the school, my first reaction was that I couldn’t be the chief guest since I am a student of Apeejay. I didn’t want the pleasure of being called a student taken away from me. But, as usual, our teachers prevail over us and we can’t refuse them anything. She said: ‘We respect your emotions’. And when you are welcomed with so much warmth and love, you are within the comforts of the Apeejay family,” Dr Mittal said.

Sharing a few anecdotes from her days at Apeejay, Dr Mittal said what sets Apeejay apart from other schools is the confidence that shapes each Apeejayite’s personality. “I would not say that I have changed, I have miles to go and so much more to learn. I still remember Surma ma’am telling us in class that one should question everything; there are no right and wrong questions. So much so that even today, I question everything. The second lesson I was taught was – to go back to basics. Today, standing amongst you, the feeling resonated. Third, introspecting is important; this is probably what defines my journey – from a doctor to an officer and from an officer to a senior officer and today back to being a student is what defines my journey,” Dr Mittal said.

“I want to thank Anita ma’am for calling me for this momentous occasion of the day to experience this wonderful feeling. I want to thank all the parents, including mine, for having chosen Apeejay at the right time of our lives and shaping us and helping us face the future with confidence. When I got the book – Reflections In Time by Dr Stya Paul – I gave it to my son and asked him to read it and write a quotation and take a leaf out of this book. The book is still a treasure today,” Dr Mittal said.

Appreciating the beauty of the auditorium of the school, Padma Shri Kumari Devayani, an internationally renowned Bharatnatyam Dancer, empanelled in the Outstanding Artists category of the Ministry of Culture said that she was honoured to have been invited to Apeejay School, Faridabad.

“Like Dr Mittal, I too feel that I am a student though I was not trained in India; I was trained in Paris. What is wonderful to be trained by the best professors/teachers, especially at The University of Paris (Sorbonne), is the way you are trained to think. It is something that I can never forget. This is what I think Dr Stya Paul envisioned for the chain of schools in India. To train the thinking, it is with a thought that you envision that you start making your dreams a reality,” Devayani said.

Apeejay schools have succeeded in this as well as excelling in whatever one wants to do, she added. “It is a privilege for the students to be trained in a school like Apeejay where each one of you is being trained in putting action to your thoughts. Everything starts with a thought. The students should be grateful to their parents for allowing them to study in such a school. I wish that each one of you, as soon as possible, recognise in life what is your soul path and do something unforgettable in life,” Devayani said.

Anita Yadav, principal of Apeejay School, Faridabad said that it is an honour and a privilege to welcome the guests to the school’s Annual Appreciation Day – Amritotsav-The Elixir of Self-reliance – unfolding before the audience glimpses of 75 Years of Independence of India in sync with 50 glorious years of Apeejay School, Faridabad. 

“This celebration is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold with the power and the potential to withstand all the obstacles that they faced. It is a pledge to resolve to build the India of our dreams. For us, at Apeejay School, Faridabad, the overarching mission has always been in pursuit of excellence. Today, let us make a commitment that while we cherish the glory of our 50 years, we will not rest on our laurels and continue to soar higher and higher,” Yadav said.

 

“Respected president madam, Mrs Sushma Paul Berlia, could not be amongst us today due to urgent professional commitment. She had sent her blessings and best wishes. Apeejay education set up to provide quality education embodying the core values of man-making and nation-building responded to the vision of our founder-chairman late Dr Stya Paulji whose life has been a glorious example of a true karma yogi. A source of great inspiration for generations, his vision of value-based holistic education focusing on acquiring thinking skills and learning how to learn for life inspires us to add value to life,” Yadav said.

This legacy is being carried forward by his illustrious daughter and only child madam Sushma Paul Berlia who is the Co-Promoter and President of Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, Chairperson, Apeejay Education, and Co-Founder and Chancellor of Apeejay Stya University, is a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman, a visionary educationist, a humanitarian, is an alchemist, who performs these and many other roles with great ease to create an inspiring story. Madam Berlia has won several awards and accolades.

The principal extended her gratitude to Mr Nishant Berlia, Co-promoter Apeejay Stya and Svran Group. She thanked Mr Aditya Berlia, Co-Promoter Apeejay Stya and Svran Group for his guidance which inspires us to create landmarks with our goals. She extended her warm welcome to respected Dr Neha Berlia, Co-Promoter of Apeejay Stya and Svran Group.

Apeejay School, Faridabad has completed five decades and established itself as a premier institute. We are pleased to share that the school was positioned No 1 by Times School Survey in 2022; our school received the Brainfeed School Excellence Award in 2022 as one of the top 500 schools in India for transforming education and young minds through the noteworthy spectrum of initiatives. The school was also awarded for innovative practices for academic excellence at 3rd EduLeaders Summit 2022 organised by Universal Mentors Association.

Education must support growth, challenge viewpoints, and build lasting relationships creating opportunities for the young. We place renewed emphasis on the humanistic dimension of education to discover oneself while on an inner journey. The milestones of which are knowledge, introspection, and contribution. Our responsibility as educators is to constantly reflect on the present and future needs of our students. We thus empower our students to live together to create a common humanity in our school system and develop habits, skills, and mindsets that build students’ social, emotional, and academic confidence,” Yadav said.

The evening was unforgettable as the students took to the stage and put up a scintillating performance that included dance, and glimpses of our rich history through the acts of bravery exhibited by our bravehearts. And it all began with an instrumental extravaganza by the school orchestra. The tiny tots in their colourful attire danced much to the delight of those who were present as they clapped and encouraged them. The dance performances by senior students was just as captivating, as were some of the costumes that reflected the Indian Tricolour flag. The participants and the performance on stage ensured that there was never a dull moment as each programme blended into the next seamlessly.

Ritu Kanwar, the headmistress, proposed the vote of thanks by expressing her gratitude to Mrs Sushma Paul Berlia for her unflinching support in all our endeavours and to all the esteemed guests who graced this momentous occasion.

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. I thank the Almighty God for making this occasion a resounding success. On behalf of the management, principal, staff, and students I take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our honoured chief guest Dr Garima Mittal for being at the event despite her busy schedule. Her inspiring message and dedicated efforts truly encourage us to be better citizens. A profound thank you to the guest of honour Padma Shri Kumari Devayani for lending grace to the occasion,” Kanwar said.

She also thanked the alumnus Nilesh Dahiya along with other elite alumni of Apeejay School, Faridabad; RWA presidents, Mr Makhija (Sector-14) and Mr Neeraj Chawla (Sector-15).

“I want to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude, in absentia, to respected president ma’am Mrs Sushma Paul Berlia whose far-reaching vision has provided us with every opportunity to grow as complete individuals. We remain indebted to her for inspiring us to strive for excellence in all our pursuits. Our sincere thanks to Education Officers Mr DK Bedi and Mrs Purnima Vohra from Apeejay Education for being part of this special evening,” Kanwar said.

The Annual Appreciation Day ended with the National Anthem.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

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