Patil urges Indian students in UAE to perform duties without fear or favour

Abu Dhabi, Nov. 23 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Tuesday asked expatriate Indian students to learn from the experiences of Mahatma Gandhi, and added that the quest for knowledge has been a basic characteristic of Indian ethos from time immemorial.

Addressing students and faculty at the Abu Dhabi Indian School here, Patil said: "The quest for knowledge has been a basic characteristic of Indian ethos from time immemorial. Our ancestors undertook in-depth studies of questions on metaphysics, philosophy, logic, religion, astronomy, grammar, mathematics, medicine and many other branches of human knowledge."

"The quest for knowledge, however, is unending. Research for new discoveries must continue, as we cope with change and challenges of the contemporary age. This becomes all the more important as the world is moving forward rapidly and decisively into an era where societies and economies are incrementally based on knowledge," she added.

Patil further said that knowledge without values, however, is incomplete and concepts of peace, harmony and tolerance must be learned in school.

"True education would be one that moulds one's character to perform one's duties without fear or favour, and to observe ethics in one's conduct and behaviour. Gandhiji said, 'Learning without courage is like a waxen statue, beautiful to look at but bound to melt at the least touch of a hot substance," she said.

On the occasion of the Indian President's visit, the students presented a small cultural program, reflecting the true spirit of India in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The school choir delivered a beautiful rendition of the national anthems of both countries, and followed it up with a traditional Arabic dance.

Thereafter, they presented a well-choreographed fusion of Indian classical dances, showcasing India's unity in diversity.

The principal of the school, Vijay Kumar Mathu revealed that the students are taught both Indian and Arabic culture, and in a way, the institution represented a mini-India.

He also said that all Indian festivals are celebrated at the school, indicating an intermingling of cultures

The Abu Dhabi Indian School is a premier community school in the Gulf. Established in 1971, the school began functioning in 1975 from the India Social Centre.

Former UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan gifted a plot of land to the Indian Ambassador to build the institution. The school was moved to the sprawling new premises in 1980.

The school is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, which is headquarterd in New Delhi, and is recognized by the Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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