Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced Delhi Government’s decision to teach the ‘Life and Contributions of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’ in the schools in Delhi in an event marking his 63rd Death Anniversary (Mahaparinirvan Diwas) at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on Friday. Shri Arvind Kejriwal said “This initiative is a fitting tribute to his life and contributions, in the true sense”, while launching a short biography of Baba Saheb Ambedkar for Classes 6, 7 and 8, in the presence of Shri Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, and Education Minister and Shri Rajendra Pal Gautam, Social welfare Minister of Delhi.
While paying tributes to Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, “We celebrate his death anniversary as Mahaparinirvan Diwas every year. But this year, it is special as the Delhi government launches a booklet on the life and teachings of Baba Saheb Ambedkar to be taught in all its government schools. I hope that private schools will also include the booklet in their curriculum. Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a brave and mighty soul. Portraying him just as a Dalit leader doesn’t do justice to his greatness. Baba Saheb Ambedkar raised his voice for all the neglected and exploited sections of the society, as he raised his voice against the atrocities against Dalits in the country”.
“He was born in a village to a poor Dalit family and had to face a lot of struggles and evil practices of untouchability and discrimination throughout his life. Education was a privilege that he was fortunate to access. At that time, it was very difficult for even students with a strong financial background to complete their education. But Baba Saheb Ambedkar attained two doctoral degrees back then, one from Columbia University and the other from the London School of Economics, which is even impossible for someone today. It would be an honor to teach our students about how Baba Saheb Ambedkar, despite facing manifold obstacles climbed the ladder of success”, the Chief Minister added.
“Dr Ambedkar came back to India after pursuing two international doctoral degrees and contributed significantly to the growth of the nation. He was instrumental in establishing the Reserve Bank of India and granting women equal rights in the Hindu Code Bill. Not many of us know that he was the only one to raise his voice on the deteriorating conditions of the farmers in India. We have to impart our children with all this knowledge. We shall not treat this booklet as any other chapter of the school curriculum, but we should be able to instill them with aspirations and values attained from the life of Baba Saheb Ambedkar” said the Chief Minister.
“India was comprised of smaller kingdoms before independence in 1947. Sardar Patel is credited for bringing together a nation with such a huge diversity, and the whole world had its eyes on India and whether a diverse nation like India can be united. India was a mix of several religions, cultures, and languages. Whereas Sardar Patel was making efforts to unite India, Baba Saheb Ambedkar was drafting a constitution to keep India united. The whole world thought that India will not be able to remain united owing to its diversity and differences, and today, after 70 years, India is developing at a rapid pace and is united because of our constitution drafted by Baba Saheb Ambedkar” the Chief Minister added.
“We should teach our students the right to equality, life, expression, religion, and every other right that the Constitution envisions. This booklet should only be considered as a draft, and we will refine the booklet as per the feedbacks obtained from the students, teachers, and guardians. And I believe that within a span of one or two years, we will be able to develop a course on Baba Saheb Ambedkar which will be adopted not only in Delhi but in all the schools across the country. A few days back, we expressed our desire to inculcate patriotism in our students, and I believe this booklet is the first step towards our effort. I am happy to introduce this booklet on the life and teachings of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, and I want to request all the principals and teachers to implement these teachings thoroughly. I would request you all to share your feedback so that we can work on refining the book”, said the Chief Minister.
Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister, Shri Manish Sisodia said “We cannot compile the entire life and teachings of in a brief chapter of Baba Saheb Ambedkar – a great visionary into a book. Baba Saheb’s dedication and painstaking efforts enabled Indians hailing from different cultures, religions, and regions to be united as one nation tied to the fundamentals of our great constitution, setting examples to other countries. Every Indian should strive hard to realize and resonate with Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s great vision. Today, with this curriculum, we introduce the noble thoughts that Babasaheb Ambedkar believed in, to our children, so that they would also learn to inculcate it in their lives”.
“This idea to teach the life and works of Baba Saheb Ambedkar was initiated by our Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, who stressed on the importance of teaching Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s great vision towards nation-building, a few months ago. I thank Shri Rajendra Pal Gautam, Minister of Social Welfare who took the responsibility to prepare this booklet with the help of experts and scholars. Based on the booklet, the Education Department will introduce a curriculum in our schools. After teaching these chapters, we’ll take feedback to assess to what extent students could understand and inculcate the values and fine thoughts that Baba Saheb stood for and lived. If children can stand against various forms of inequality and discrimination in the society, then our aim to teach Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s life and thoughts would be fulfilled”, the Deputy Chief Minister added.
The booklet, as well as the discussions around it, will throw light into the realities in which Baba Saheb Ambedkar lived his life, fighting and rising against caste-based inequality, gender-based discrimination, and enable our students to take the message to the real-life and identify similar social evils and resolve to fight them. This initiative will help our students to understand and believe in the power of our great constitution and tread the ways that Baba Saheb Ambedkar adopted for the nation-building”, said the Deputy Chief Minister.
Addressing the gathering, Delhi’s Social Welfare Minister Shri Rajendra Paul Gautam said “Today Delhi government has taken a historic and decisive step to teach the life and contributions of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in the schools in Delhi. Studying the inspiring life of Baba Saheb Ambedkar – the architect of our constitution will help us to make our nation truly guided by the constitutional principles of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity”. He also appreciated the visionary efforts of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and Education Minister Shri Manish Sisodia that helped to give wings to the aspirations of poor children in Delhi and thereby fulfilling the dreams of Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
“Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a versatile genius. Only a few of us know that Reserve Bank of India was founded in 1934 based on one of the research papers titled ‘The Problem of Rupee in India and its Solutions, written by Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Nobel laurite Amartya Sen considers Baba Saheb Ambedkar as his guru in Economics. Baba Saheb Ambedkar not only spearheaded movements for empowering women but also made effective laws for the same as the Maternity Leave Act in 1942, Minimum Wages Act before the independence and the Hindu Code Bills being the first law minister of India. He was a social reformer par excellence, human rights activist, constitutional expert, but portraying him as only a Messiah of Dalits is an injustice to his invaluable contributions”, Rajendra Pal Gautam added.
Chief Minister launched a booklet titled ‘Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar: A Short Biography’ for classes 6, 7 and 8. The first part of the booklet for Class 6 explores the life and education of Ambedkar and his social reforms initiatives, contributions to women empowerment and making the constitution of India. The second part for class 7 details his contributions to social justice, and Gender justice. The third part for class 8 elucidates the contributions of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in Parliamentary Democracy and Government. The booklet was prepared by the Social Welfare department of the Delhi government with the help of three scholars and experts from Delhi University – Mani Sagar, Shashi Rani, and N. Sukumar.