Mumbai: President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday asked
students to learn about their culture, ethos and the eco-
system besides studying their regular textbooks to pave way
for a better society.
"I would encourage you to learn about the diversity of our
country in culture, languages, customs, ethos and traditions.
It is this richness and multiplicity, which makes India a
unique and great nation.
"Moreover, we are a democratic nation, in fact the world`s
largest democratic nation. The students, representing the
coming generation, must avoid narrow creeds and seek to build
a path for the betterment of society," she said addressing
students of one of the oldest schools of the country.
Terming the schools as "the basic pillars" for the nation,
the President said, "The stronger a system of school
education, greater the prospects of progress of a country."
President said the students` objective should be to become
intellectually competent and technically skilled to contribute
to the nation`s progress.
"Young students and the youth of the country, therefore,
must channelise their skills in developing balanced
personalities with positive attitudes," she said, releasing a
commemorative postage stamp on the Cathedral and Connon
School, founded in 1860, here.
The school was pioneered and funded by a city
philanthropist, barrister and editor, John Connon and named
after him posthumously.
The President also asked parents and teachers to inculcate
in students the habit of reading. "You (students) must use
your time in school to learn as much as possible. You should
develop a habit of reading, not only textbooks, but also
newspapers and literature. India is a storehouse of knowledge.
"We should teach our children to respect nature for our
own good. We must sensibly use its resources, work to conserve
its rich flora and fauna, as well as adopt environment
friendly approaches," she said.
The alumni of the school includes industrialists JRD Tata,
Ratan Tata, Rahul Bajaj, scientist Dr Homi Bhabha, actors
Rahul Bose, Kareena Kapoor, politicians Arun Jaitley and
Maharashtra Governor K Sankarnarayanan, Deputy Chief
Minister Chagan Bhujbal and Union Ministers of State for IT
and Communication Sachin Pilot and Gurudas Kamat were also
"Students should prove that talent and skills develop a
country and not ethnic background," Kamat said.