Letter from Shri H.N. Dastur, Executive Secretary and Director General to Principals of Bhavan's Schools
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Dear Principal,

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, reserving 25 per cent of the seats for the socially disadvantaged and economically weaker sections of society, all the Bhavan's schools have to strive their best to implement the provisions of the Act.

I am aware of the difficulties that our schools will have to face and some uncertainties that still persist with regard to its implementation. I am also aware that Principals of a few of our schools have some reservations and forebodings. But let us leave them behind, look ahead and resolve to make this measure a success.

Let us look at it as a wonderful opportunity in strengthening the Bhavan's work on various fronts to serve the poor and the downtroddenó "the lowest, the lowliest and the lost", in the words of Gurudev Tagore. Already many of the Bhavan's institutes including some schools have been stretching themselves to serve the poor students. This will be continuation of our efforts in this direction. Instead of harboring any diffidence or doubt, let us set about the task with confidence and determination.

We must ensure sincere and whole-hearted compliance with the provisions of the RTE Act. As the Principal, you are at the centre of it all. I am sure you have a plan for implementation ready and our teachers are well prepared to adjust to this new situation. Their attitude and enthusiasm will play a crucial role. They will have to put in extra efforts to bring the children from the economically weaker sections of our society into the mainstream. The Principal and the teachers should wholeheartedly accept this as a challenge and make this measure a success.

A real problem you will face is the social, economic and cultural diversity among the two groups of students. It may so happen that the well-off students may show some resentment and even antipathy towards their new poor classmates giving them a feeling of neglect and injustice aggravating their inferiority complex. Under no circumstances should this be allowed to happen. You will have to apply imaginative and effective measures to counter this possibility with a mixture of persuasiveness and sternness. The upper class students should be educated in accepting their less fortunate sisters and brothers as equals. You may kindly think of some creative ways by which you and the teachers can encourage them to show affection and help these students.

There may be a handful of teachers whose mindset is inclined to treat these new boys and girls as second-class students. Some may even take them as an unnecessary burden and show some displeasure. You will have to prevent this at any cost. Your persistent efforts to persuade them, transform their attitude and make them understand the utmost importance of this aspect is bound to succeed. If it does not in the case of some teaches, you will have to deal with them sternly taking it as a detestable act of indiscipline which goes against the basic philosophy of Bhavan.

Apart from this being our sacred duty, just imagine what a noble act we will be performing if we can turn the dream of every parent to educate his/her child in a school of repute and excellence such as ours into a reality.

To sum up, you will have to build up a conducive environment in the school by motivating the teachers and other staff to put in their very best to successfully meet this challenge, and the students to deal with their lesser fortunate sisters and brothers with love and compassion. This is what an inspirational leadership is all about. I am confident that you possess that high quality of true leadership. Let us show the path to other schools.

I pray to God to make your efforts a great success.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely
Executive Secretary & Director General
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,
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