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The Art of Man-making: ‘I try to imbibe Mother Teresa’s virtues in my life’

Gratitude and kindness are paramount in an individual’s life, believes this awardee of Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values



Annika Anand (second from the left) receiving Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values with other students

Editor’s Note: Human values are quintessential to shaping a morally responsible individual. Apeejay’s mission of holistic education thrives on inculcating the right values in young people. This is part I of the series.

“In the last 10 years at school, I learnt that human values are most important in life,” says Annika Anand, a Class VIII student of Apeejay School, Nerul. She was a recipient of the coveted Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values this year, which is given annually to select students who exhibit a deep sense of human values and a high level of integrity in their conduct.

Whether it is at school or home, Annika has grown up imbibing the core values of kindness and gratitude that guide her everyday actions. “You have to be kind and show gratitude to others. When someone takes the pain to help you, even a small ‘thank you’ can make a big difference,” she states.

Annika idolises Mother Teresa. “I have always admired her kindness and dedication toward helping those in need. I was deeply impacted when I read about her inspirational journey for the first time — how she left her country at a very young age, came to India and dedicated her whole life to charity. I have been trying to imbibe Mother Teresa’s virtues in my life,” she says, recalling how she and her friends once rescued an injured cat and tended to her for a few months to help her recover completely.

At school, on the other hand, she has been involved in social work organised by the school’s Interact Club amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We made cloth masks for the poor and needy, and donated to orphanages, among other activities.”

The young girl’s parents are her role models too. “They are my first idols. I admire my mother’s kindness and sincerity and my father’s incredible ability to be calm in any kind of crisis.”

Talking about the Dr Stya Paul Award, Annika adds, “I had been hearing about this award ever since I was in Class I. We were told it is Apeejay’s most prestigious award. At first, I couldn’t believe that my teachers thought I was worthy of this honour. I was elated!”

The Apeejay student has been appointed the middle-school Prefect for the current academic year. She has been a House Prefect and a Head Girl for the primary section in the past. Her current role as one of the school leaders has further moulded her personality, she emphasises.

“As Prefects, we try to be role models for other students and inculcate good values not just in our classmates but also juniors. I have learnt that apart from being kind, you also have to be very calm in the face of any adversity. And that we are not alone — there are other Prefects and teachers to help and guide us every step of the way.”

Having held several leadership positions to date, the Apeejayite vouches for the ability to multi-task. “Without this quality, you might find it difficult to handle your responsibilities. You cannot focus all your energy on just one task and comprise the rest.”

Teamwork is equally important, Annika asserts. “Teamwork is crucial not just for a Prefect but for every student. If you are a team leader, the final decision is in your hands of course, but you have to be cognizant of everybody’s opinion and make them feel heard.”

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.