Shibpur Srimat Swami Prajnanananda Saraswati Vidyalaya (SSSPSV), established in 1950 is reputed, not only for the academic achievements of its students but also because of their sporting successes. Run with an iron fist, by the dynamic Head Master Rajib Banerjee who has been associated with the institution for many satisfying years, the school has carved out a distinct niche for itself, making it one of the forerunners among the Bengali medium, Higher Secondary schools in the state.
While we had heard paeans about the school many times over, it was a visit to the sacred portals of the institution that made it clear before our incredulous eyes how the different stakeholders can come together to achieve common goals. Present with a select bunch of students who had volunteered to meet us, were the teachers of SSSPSV, some parents, and members of the alumni association of the school – all eager to share their opinion about the institution and discuss how they can contribute to take their common success story further. Leading the pack was an octogenarian – a student from the very first batch of wards in the school, who has also worked as a teacher in the same school before retiring. Age may have robbed him of his physical vitality but his spirit was intact, as was his desire to see his school flourish.
The occasion was the formal launch of the SSSPSV chapter of the Kalam Club, an initiative to primarily use the fountain pen and ink to help students improve their handwriting and through it expose them and help them embrace several skill sets. Tapas Kumar Dey, veteran teacher, and Head Master of Bejoygarh Vidyapith, the moving spirit behind the initiative said, “the idea is simple – to offer to students several learning opportunities that will help them not only to excel academically but will also aid the process of their holistic development. Initially, our thrust is on handwriting as the Covid induced lockdown has robbed many children of the ability to write. Also on the anvil is a program where we will provide the parents, teachers, and students access to trained psychologists to address the menace of depression among children.”
Speaking about the initiative, he said “Kalam Club is a not-for-profit trust which is now under formation. It is being formed by a few like-minded individuals to reach out to our children, especially to those, who despite having the talents, cannot attain fruition because of several socio-economic issues. We are especially thankful to Sulekha for providing us with the infrastructure and bearing the initial costs of these programs. The pen and ink that they are so gracefully gifting the students participating is a gesture that I feel needs to be applauded.”
The program at the SSSPSV was simple, yet highly effective. First the guests were introduced to the assembled students, their parents, and the teachers of the institution by the host, Rajib Banerjee. He also spelled out the basic philosophy behind the Kalam Club. Kaushik Maitra, the Managing Director of Sulekha then regaled the audience with the story of Sulekha – how freedom fighters had created the Swadeshi product as a mark of self-reliance, against the exploitation of the Raj, how Gandhiji himself had blessed it and how it is making a comeback, replete with the same values that had once made Sulekha the preferred Ink of the Nation.
Fountain pen evangelist – yours truly – then took the stage and told the audience why the fountain pens and inks are still important, especially in these post-lockdown days when children and adults alike are suffering from digital overwhelm. The need to embrace the fountain pen, purely from a sustainability point of view was also stressed.
Tapas Kumar Dey then made a presentation about handwriting – dwelling in detail about not only why good, legible handwriting is required, least of all to score in the examinations, but also how it can be attained by all. A powerful speaker, he talked the language of the children, encouraging them to interact with him as he explained the key points in a lucid and effortless manner. As a matter of fact, such was the punch with which the speech was delivered, that the parents and some of the teachers too were sucked into the narrative as they sought to have many related issues irking them, cleared by the master.
Finally, the crest of Kalam Club was symbolically unveiled with Kaushik Maitra handing over a flex to Rajib Banerjee the Head Master of SSSPSV.
For more information contact: www.sulekhaink.co.in