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The Art of Man-making: ‘Soaring high is my nature should nurture goodness within’

Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values awardee says that we should serve others selflessly



Incorporating human values into education not only prepares students for academic success but also equips them to become responsible, ethical, and empathetic individuals who positively contribute to society. Schools and educational institutes have a vital role in nurturing these values through both formal and informal education, creating an environment that encourages the development of well-rounded individuals.

Values like empathy, compassion, and kindness contribute to the development of a strong and virtuous character. These qualities help students build healthy relationships, handle conflicts positively, and become responsible members of society. In a competitive world, human values take on even greater significance for students as they begin their professional journey.

They may face temptations to cut corners or compromise their integrity. Human values like honesty and integrity provide a moral compass, guiding students to make ethical decisions even when faced with challenges. But some students, like Saanvi Narula, a student of class X at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, have developed character and therefore, awarded the prestigious Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values.

In a candid interview, she talks about how and when she won this covered award.

Tell us about yourself.

I am in class X and studying at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park. I am a true Delhiite since I was born and brought up here. I am 15 going on 16. I won the prestigious Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values when I was in class IX.

Were you scared once you were nominated?

Actually, I have taken this test thrice before; I was fortunate that my teachers nominated my name three times. The questions that are asked are simple. I was asked: ‘What habits will you take from Dr Stya Paul’s life? What impressed you about his life? But the catch is that each student writes the same answer. What sets you apart from others is how genuine you are in the answers. Probably the reason why I won last year was because I was able to do this. I had heard about the award when I was in class VII.

How do you approach the answers asked in the test?

In my previous years I would write the common answers that everyone would write. But last year, what was different was that I had turned into a Krishna devotee. I have read The Gita and visited ISKON temple. What I read and what I was exposed to changed my perspective. I learnt what the true motive of life is and the principles you should live by. My answers resonated with teachings from The Gita.

What got you interested in following Lord Krishna?

I am not sure what triggered this. But I remember that when I was five I asked my grandparents for bhajans of Lord Krishna. I even remember my English teacher praising me that the answers that I had written in the test were different.

What has been your biggest learning for The Gita?

First, we should be grateful for what we have. Second, we should learn to serve others. We are born to be in the service of others; that is a life’s motive. For instance, as a student I have learnt something. What is the point of this learning if I have not imparted it to others?

I like to share whatever I have gathered with my friends and family. The message here is: Serve others selflessly and be a devotee of Lord Krishna.

What does the motto: ‘Soaring High is my Nature’ mean to you?

It means that we must work hard and reach new highs. A lot of people may think that this only points to materialistic things in life. They can’t be further from the truth. Soaring high is my nature for me means to awaken the spirit inside and become a good person. We have come empty handed and go empty handed; the only thing you will carry are the good deeds that you have done.

Does it bother you when your friends call you boring?

It does bother me once in a while. To celebrate my birthday, I decided to go to Vrindavan. I did charity there and visited Lord Krishna’s temple. To my mind that was the best way to celebrate my birthday. My friends on the other hand wanted a party where there is a lot of music.

Is there something that inspires you from Dr Stya Paul’s life?

Unfortunately, I have not read his books. But I have heard from my teachers that he was extremely kind, always ready to help others and a down to earth person. This is what stands out for me.

Saanvi Narula, Student of class X at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park

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.