The 75th anniversary celebration of the Vidyamandir Trust (VMT) held in Palanpur on 7th – 8th January 2023 was addressed by a number of luminaries from different fields, including the richest person in Asia – Gautam Adani, Chairman and Founder of the Adani Group. It was also attended by a several alumni as well as donors and well-wishers from across the world.
The two-day celebrations also included the inauguration of a number of new institutions and buildings on the existing VMT campus; a memorial meet for Late Arunkumarbhai R. Mehta and Late Shirishbhai M. Modi, both of whom were stalwarts of Palanpuri institutions for many decades; and an Alumni gathering which saw the participation of thousands of past students as well.
Russell A Mehta of Rosy Blue is presently Chairman of the Trust, and Ashish K Mehta of Kantilal Chhotalal is the Managing Trustee. Several other diamantaires are closely involved with the VMT, and have supported its activities over the years.
The highlight of the celebrations was the main event on 8th January, addressed by Gautam Adani and two prominent VMT alumni, Mihir S. Shukla, CEO and Co-Founder of Automation Anywhere, leader in Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and Pranav Mistry, renowned scientist and inventor, Founder and CEO of TWO, working on Artificial Reality.
Adani, who hails from Banaskantha and has relatives who studied at Vidyamandir, outlined the key milestones in his journey in the world of business.
“I learnt various social skills growing up in a joint family in arid Banaskantha where living conditions were tough,” Adani said. He also outlined the various other qualities that guided him to become a successful entrepreneur, and stressed that the journey would “never be a straight line”. Entrepreneurship should be built on a foundation based on values of “trust, courage and commitment” and “self-confidence”, among others.
He exhorted the young students and alumni present to realise that the “time is ripe” for India to emerge as a new global superpower and called upon them to fulfil their true potential by learning to “Plan, Explore, Dream and Discover”.
“But,” he added, “it is also necessary to understand the power of empathy and develop a sense of purpose,” pointing to his decision to start the Adani Foundation with a corpus of ₹60,000 crore to invest in health, education, skill development and other social needs.”
Mihir Shukla and Pranav Mistry too had inspiring messages for the young students attending the event.
Shukla emphasised that it was the education here that “opened my mind”. He urged the students to “Dream Big” and work for change that impacts many lives. “Big ideas must be followed by hard work and meticulous attention to details.” Anything could be possible with such an approach, he concluded.
Mistry said that Vidyamandir had provided him the foundation of “curiosity, confidence and knowledge” which propelled him to where he is today. Pointing out that he was proud of his origins, he added, “My dream is that Palanpur will provide a number of persons who will be leading the next wave of technological developments – in AI, Robotics, the Metaverse and more”.
The celebrations included the bhoomi pujan of a new campus of the Vidyamandir Trust at Malana, Palanpur, where the Vidyamandir Centre for Skill Development will come up over the next few years. The first such institute will be the Smt. Chandraben & Piyushbhai Kothari (Jewelex) Institute of Nursing.
The inauguration of new buildings and projects at VMT included:
- ‘Sahyog’- A Development Space for Divyangs, An Indo-US Partnership
- Kalpana and Haresh Jogani Endowment and Kakkalbhai Master Endowment
- Kantilal C. Kothari Sabhagruh
- KBS Academy of Online Education
- Anilaben Navinchandra Mody Hall
- Arun K. Bhansali M. Ed. College (English Medium)
- Nita Kumar Mehta M. Ed. College (Gujarati Medium)
- Parikh Foundation College of Diploma in Special Education (MR)
- Smt. Sumatiben Rameshbhai Vadilal Mehta M.Ed. College of Special Education