Happy Teachers' Day 2020: India celebrates Teachers' Day every year on September 5, the birth anniversary of a scholar and exemplary teacher Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Ahead of Teachers' Day, former president Pranab Mukherjee, enjoyed interacting with students. Before Teachers' Day in 2015, he took a class at a government school in Delhi, after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal requested him. Pranab Mukherjee spoke to the students of a school located within the President's Estate for about half an hour on the eve of Teachers' Day. He also asked the students if they were bored with his lecture. The former president told the students, "Here I am no longer a president or a minister, I am just your 'Mukherjee Sir'. I will be very happy if you call me 'Mukherjee Sir'."
Happy Teachers' Day 2020: Memorable quotes of 'Mukherjee Sir'
- "I was not a very bright student but I had to work very hard because ours was an extremely poor and backward area. My district had a population of a little more than a million but there were only 14 High Schools"
- "From my house, my school was little more than five kilometre away...no question of roads...we had to walk through paddy fields. During rains it was very difficult - particularly in July, August and September"
- "I used to wrap a coarse towel around my waist. In another coarse towel I would wrap my pant, shirt and books, and tied them to my head."
- "We used to read under kerosene lamps and hardly there were any desks; we sat on mats. In college, classrooms were more or less well equipped"
- "My mother used to tell me 'what is your option? You have no option...if you don't have an option, don't grumble and work hard'..."
- "If someone asked me 'Who is your best teacher? I will perhaps say - 'my best teacher was my mother.'"
- "As Indians, we must, of course, learn from the past; but we must remain focused on the future. In my view, education is the true alchemy that can bring India its next golden age"
- "A teacher gives himself to the students; the job of a student is to draw as much he can"
- "Democracy gives support to common people to fulfil their aspirations and in post independent India we have nurtured democracy"
- "A village boy - in 1946 wading through waist deep water - would reach his school, wrapping a coarse towel on his head. It is because of democracy he could reach Raisina Hills"
Former President Pranab Mukherjee died on August 31 of multiple ailments. The 84-year-old leader was in the hospital for 20 days.