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The Accountant's General Employees Co-operative Bank Ltd. - Prathibha Puraskara

Number of people present : 70-100 employees of the Accountant General's office
Venue : The Accountant's General Office
Time : 1 p.m. to 2.45 p.m.

The programme started with an invocation song by Mr. Girish H.K. an employee of the Co-operative Bank. This was followed by the welcome speech by the President Mr. B. K. Ravi, he welcomed all the dignitaries (Dr. Ali Khwaja, Mr. D.J.Bhadra, Mr.L.A.C.Singh, Mr.Kharshing and Ms. Keerthi Tiwari) and the employees. He also mentioned that this was the 14th Prathiba Puraskara and 44 children were chosen from the field of education and sports.

awardThe awards were given away by Dr. Ali to the children of the Co-operative employees. The awards were given to the students who scored high percentage marks in their SSLC, CBSE and ICSE exams. Many students had ambitions of becoming Doctors, Engineers, Astronaut, politicians etc, two sports awards were also given to students who excelled in the sports category. All the students were accompanied by their parents to receive the awards.

Ms. Monica, one of the award winners spoke on behalf of all the students. She congratulated all the students and also mentioned that the path forward will be a mixture of fun and pressure, fun because they will have new friends and a new environment and the pressure because of the decision they have to make and the correct efforts that they have to put in. she also said that ' Nothing is pre-written and nothing can be re-written.'

Mr. Shivram an employee of the co-operative bank addressed the gathering on behalf of all the parents and congratulated all the children and their parents. He mentioned how the Bank had grown from a small establishment to the present status that it holds today, he told that the Bank was a small concern which was functioning on the second floor of the building, it gave away Rs.4,000/- as loan and the employees of the Bank have worked very hard for the improvement of the Bank.

Dr. Ali was then invited to address the gathering. He started by saying that he stood the first in class 12th, but since there were no such award ceremony, he did not receive any awards. He congratulated all the students and their parents for the achievement. He also congratulated the Bank directors and employees for recognizing the talents and for the efforts put in to appreciate the students. He mentioned to the parents that this was a very big achievement and their children have proved themselves. The parents have to keep in their mind about the future of their children and not to push them to go on the path that the parents have decided. It is the duty of the parents to guide the children to take the right path.

Dr. Ali recalled a conversation with a group of students who had completed their 2nd P.U.C. There were about 30 students and motorbikeDr. Ali asked them about the course they were interested and the college where they were interested to enroll into. Some students were very confused and had still not decided, some were interested to take up their CET or GATE exams, some others said that they will take up the course chosen by their parents. There was one particular boy who was very sure that he will take up a particular course in the particular college. Dr. Ali was impressed by the answer and since there was nothing special about that particular course or that college, out of curiosity he asked the boy for the reason for deciding so. The boy in reply said " Sir, my neighbour Arvind, studies in the same college and has take up the same course, and if I join the same college I can get a ride on his motorcycle while going to college and coming back." Dr. Ali told him if that was the case he would only be on the back seat going only where people take him and not where he wants to actually go. He asked "Was it was better to be in the front seat of the cycle where you are holding the handle and have the control, can turn it as you like and head towards the destination that you like, than to be at the back seat of the motorcycle which is at a faster speed but you are not allowed to chose your destination?"

He then narrated the conversation between a mother and the son.
waking_upwhat_time_is_itSon : "I do not want to go to college today."
Mother : "No, you have to go."
Son : "No mother, nobody like me. Neither the teachers nor the students talk to me properly. I really don't want to go."
Mother : "Don't give reasons, you have to go to college. So please go get ready"
Son finally asks " what is the big necessity, why do you insist that I HAVE to go to the college everyday?"
The mother replied "Because son, you are 45 years old and you are the Principle of the college, and it is not nice for the Principle to bunk college."

Dr. Ali hoped that nobody from this crowd had to carry out such a conversation after a few years with their mothers. To avoid such situations one has to take the right decision now, so that they do not regret years later about the opportunities that they have missed.

Dr. Ali also mentioned about the statement made by Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam that 'In the year 2020, India will be the Super Power.' which was true because India may not be powerful in Nuclear or money, but will be powerful in 'Manpower'. It is very important how we utilize the manpower that we have in abundance.

parentsThe parents have to realize what their children are interested to do and they should most importantly not teach the child to chase money.

Dr. Ali also mentioned about a 10th grade student whom he met in Mysore a few days earlier who was interested to become an Air hostess, airplanebut the mother did not agree to this. Dr. Ali advised the student to give it some time, as becoming an Air Hostess was not possible till the age of 21 and in the meanwhile she could complete her graduation in the field of Tourism or Hospitality and then she can have a clear thought as to what exactly she was interested in. He also talked to the mother and told her to give her daughter some time to decide on the exact career that she would like to pursue.

old_wise_manAnother important aspect for the parents, is to become a role model for their children. The child will always look up to the parent for any clarifications or advises, so it is vital for parents to become the role models, only then can they expect the children to follow their instructions. He also mentioned about his student Mr. S.R.Krishna Murthy who was 85 years old and has taken up the course for Ph.d. Dr. Ali said that he was very proud of Mr. Krishna Murthy who was willing to learn even at this age. He said that education and learning should be viewed as a process to gain knowledge and it should not be done to gain only promotions in office.

pilotsDr. Ali mentioned about the nine officers (junior warrant officers and warrant officers) of the Indian Airforce who has taken up the counselling course and among them 3 officers had done their MBA, 1 officer had done LLB and another 3 officers had completed their B.Ed. He appreciated their efforts and their decision to take up counseling as their profession.

The concept of Longevity was also mentioned by Dr. Ali. He said that thought the Government had decided 60 years to be the age of retirement, everyone should be ready to put in another 20 years of hard work, and for this one should know about their present state and plan for the future keeping the possible options open.
One should only compete with themselves and not with other people. By competing with yourself you will focus only on yourself, know the flaws and can also over come the difficulties. It should also be backed up with aptitude and with the basic life skills. The basic life skills helps one to face the situations with the right kind of attitude. The basic life skills is about how one can control emotions and have a presence of mind to solve problems.

To explain more about life skills a story was narrated by Dr. Ali.
patientOnce an old lady was suffering from a severe Throat Cancer. A reputed Cancer Surgeon operated on the lady and cured her completely. A few days had passed after the Surgery, the old lady had gained complete conscious by now and was pleased to see the Surgeon who was making his daily rounds. As she was not able to speak due to the surgery she wrote on a paper, her appreciation and gratitude to the Doctor. She also wrote that she was very happy that she had overcome the cancer. She gave the paper to the Doctor, _earand the Doctor was pleased to read it. He decided to reply, took the pen, turned the page and wrote that it was only his duty and it was God that she actually needed to thank, etc., and gave the paper to the old lady. The old lady starred at the paper in her hand and looked into the Doctor's face and looked back at the paper. She wrote something on the paper and returned it to the Doctor. The Doctor took the paper and read it. It was written "I can hear Doctor."

Dr. Ali completed his talk by once again asking the students to think and take the right decision which will help them lead good and meaningful life.

Mr. D.J.Bhadra was next called upon to talk. He narrated his own experience of how he was good at all the other subjects but was poor in Mathematics and his struggle to over come the problems.

The Bank Vice President Mr. Philips Rajkumar gave the vote of thanks and the program was concluded.

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With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

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