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The Art of Man-making: ‘Always be nice to people irrespective of their social strata’

The winner of the prestigious Dr Stya Paul Award of Human Values from Apeejay School, Charkhi Dadri, says that human values are acts done for the betterment of mankind



Gone are the days when all that mattered was a child’s percentage. Today, students are judged on various parametres – academics, their attitude and behaviour toward others, and how many extracurricular activities they are enrolled in. So much so that a parent recently enrolled her three-year-old son in classes where they teach shlokas.

This is a trend that has caught the imagination of parents and society at large. Holistic development is the mantra today. Take another example. A video of a one-year-old performing Bharatnatyam went viral just a decade back. So it is not surprising when you hear of students scoring 99.9 per cent in their exams and topping the school and yet imbibing values like that would lead them to win the prestigious Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values.

Meet one such student, Akansha Dhankhar of class XI, who is pursuing Science (medical) from Apeejay School, Charkhi Dadri, who was recently conferred with the coveted Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values.

Excerpts from an interview.

How and when did you hear about the Dr Stya Paul Awards for Human Values?

I have been in Apeejay school since I was in the nursery. So I had heard of this coveted award since the award is given to students each year to students who have exhibited humanitarian values. Also, a friend of mine when I was in class VIII won this award.  

The one thing that inspires you about Dr Stya Paul.

His selfless dedication to others. I have heard and have also read about his life. It is truly inspiring that he only gave and didn’t think about keeping anything for himself. He was a person with a physical disability, yet he took on the responsibility of looking after his family. He did so many things for the nation – built an industrial empire and set up schools like Apeejay. We are privileged that we are studying in a school that not only lays stress on academics but also on holistic development.

 What do human values mean to you?

These are gestures that you do for others without thinking of how they will benefit you. These are acts done for the betterment of mankind. So that at the end of the day everyone is at par and happy.

Can human values be upheld in this day and age?

Definitely. While we live in a competitive world to compete with each other it is natural to become selfish. But at the same time, we all learn from what others do. Do a good deed and everyone will soon follow suit. Competing at the academic level is different from doing a good deed for another person.

What role have your teachers played in your academic excellence and in shaping your personality?

My teachers have played a huge role in not just me topping the school in class X Boards; I scored 98 per cent. Over the years, their contribution to my personal life has been immense. Whatever we learn, we do so from our teachers. We learn from their attitude and behaviour; they shape us and chisel away all our rough edges so that we can shine in life.

What role do your parents play in your life?

I can genuinely say that I couldn’t have asked for better parents. My father is involved in the family business. And unlike most parents whose main aim is to get their daughter married off, my father insists that I must achieve whatever my goal; marriage is not the ultimate goal, he tells me.

My parents always encourage me to do good things for others and be nice to people irrespective of their social strata. My grandmother always told me to give my best and remain focused.

“My parents always encourage me to do good things for others and be nice to people irrespective of their social strata. My grandmother always told me to give my best and remain focused”

Akansha Dhankhar of class XI studying at Apeejay School, Charkhi Dadri

Have you decided on what stream of medicine you would like to pursue?

I want to take up gynaecology. I see so many pregnant women at construction sites working and lifting heavy weights despite their condition. As a doctor, I am confident I can better their condition and help them and in turn the unborn baby.

What was your reaction when you won the award?

I was over the moon. Not everyone is selected, let alone win this prestigious Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values. I was thrilled, to begin with when I was nominated. It is an honour to have been bestowed this award.

Is it okay if a student doesn’t have an aim?

Yes, it is perfectly fine for a student not to have an aim; some students take a longer time to decide what they want to pursue in life. What is not correct is if they lose focus. One should never go off-track.

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.