November 11. National Education Day 2012-2013
Prime Minister’s Message
Precious children of this great nation!
Today is National Education Day – the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. This year, we are launching a nationwide campaign ‘Shiksha Ka Haq Abhiyan’ on this day.
When Maulana Azad was a student like you, he studied very hard. He was so diligent that at the young age of eleven or twelve years, he became a teacher to students twice his age. He became a journalist, and later joined Mahatma Gandhi in the Freedom Movement. When the country became independent, and he became Education Minister, he dreamt of an India where every citizen would be educated. I want that you should also study as diligently as Maulana Azad.
Education is a magic wand that can help us meet any challenge. Education is necessary not only because it can get us jobs or status in society. Education is essential as it enables us to build a new world. It is magical because it helps us rediscover ourselves.
Education gave me a new life. I went to school in a village that had no electricity; I studied under an earthen oil lamp. My village did not have pukka roads or fast vehicles to take me to school. I would walk miles to reach my school. I worked as hard as I could and the nation has always rewarded me for my efforts. I owe to education, everything that I have achieved in the journey of my life. This is why I believe that education can help us realise our aspirations.
During my childhood, elementary education was not free; nor did children have a fundamental right to education, as they do today. In the India of today, every child, without discrimination, has the right to education. Gandhiji had said that persistent questioning and healthy inquisitiveness are prerequisites for learning of any kind. You should study hard, ask as many questions as you can, and seek answers to those questions. I promise that India will provide opportunities to all of you to fulfill your hopes and dreams.
I am confident that education will help you scale new heights. My love and blessings are with you.
November 11, 2011