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LG’s speech during Annual Day Function of Lady Shri Ram College for Women

Friday, April 11, 2014









11TH APRIL, 2014


Mr Chairman, Governing body; Madam Principal; Distinguished Alumnae of the Lady Shri Ram College; Faculty Members, Staff and Dear Students. Thank you very much for inviting me to this glorious institution and be a part of your “College Day Celebrations”. Indeed the Lady Shri Ram College has a lot to celebrate, as it looks back to the 50 years of its existence, and reflects on its more significant signposts and achievements.

The Lady Shri Ram College for Women, established by the late Sir Shri Ram in 1956, today stands as one the tallest institutions in the country and has become synonymous with academic excellence. The college is consistently ranked among the top colleges in the country. The Lady Shri Ram College is a testimony to the vision of the founder and the dedication of those who serve it. It has become a benchmark today to measure academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular excellence as also for fostering a community which has an engaged sense of responsibility to society.

We all heard the college song, with its opening stanza being:

“Hamara Prayas Hai, Hamari Khoj Hai, Hamari Sadhna

Bulandiyon Ko Chhune Ki Hamari Yatra

Bandhanon Ko Torne Ki Hai Hamari Yatra

Agyan Se Mukti Ki Hai Hamari Yatra”

This clearly sums up what the Lady Shri Ram College’s mission has been for the past five decades of its existence. The relentless effort of its leadership, teachers, staff and students, their constant quest for knowledge, their dedication and commitment to their purpose, together with the fervour to achieve the unachievable and break all shackles – both of the mind and those posed by restrictive norms of society – has undoubtedly made the Lady Shri Ram College chart a unique course of its own.

And today as we recognise the distinguished alumnae of this outstanding institution and the contributions made by those who have served this institution for twenty five long years, we recognize the indisputable role played by each one of them in bringing glory to the Lady Shri Ram College. I am sure each alumna present here is proud of the education they received here, just as the college basks in the success and achievements of their alumnae.

I am particularly happy to note that as we celebrate the accomplishments of the alumnae, we have not forgotten those who are responsible for their success – their teachers and staff. Needless to say, they are the very foundation of any educational institution and today as we honour those who have served the Lady Shri Ram College cause for 25 years, we salute their dedication and commitment to providing the best of education to their students.

Repeating an oft-quoted quote, “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires”, I am certain that be it the current batch of students or the alumnae sitting in this audience – all of you would have found an inspiring teacher in this excellent institution, who would have encouraged you to undertake your life’s journey and would have been responsible, in some measure, for your success.

Today you are recognised as an institution of excellence that nurtures intellectual and academic pursuits, provides adequate opportunities for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and makes for a conducive environment for over-all development of young inquisitive minds when they enter the portals of this vibrant institution. No wonder it sends out some of the brightest minds into the world, who carry their education no matter where they go.

I cannot take the names of all the distinguished alumnae of LSR but just to name a few – Aung San Suu Ki, Naina Lal Kidwai, Geeta Chandran, Nidhi Razdan, Neera Chandoke, Arpana Caur – all of them are leaders in their own right and they owe a lot to the Lady Shri Ram College for the illustrious career and life that they have led. Their years at the Lady Shri Ram College have enabled them to carve a niche for themselves.

There are to my mind, two very special achievements of the Lady Shri Ram College. One, it has been providing exemplary education in the field of humanities, social sciences and commerce for the past many decades. The role of the humanities and social sciences education can hardly be underscored; it is all the more necessary today when we think of issues which face our society – be it gender insensitivity, class and caste biases, religious intolerance, regional conflicts. For addressing all of these and more, we need, today more than ever, a training in the humanities and social sciences. The Lady Shri Ram College has been providing pioneering education in these fields and I congratulate them for that.

The second aspect of the Lady Shri Ram College that needs our appreciation is the role that it has been playing as an institution of higher learning for women in India. The college is emblematic of a feminism that helps women find their rightful place in the sun. The Lady Shri Ram College trains women who go on to excel in every sphere of their endeavour, be it the arts, media, education, the corporate sector, or governance. They are empowered with an academic training, professional competence, and an ability to assume positions of leadership with complete ease and self-confidence. This to my mind is both a symptom and a cause of a slow but sure social revolution. Again the Lady Shri Ram College has played a very important role here.

It is my hope that in the years to come as well the Lady Shri Ram College will continue to inspire young minds and nurture them such that they go on to become future leaders of not just our country but the world. It is my hope that the Lady Shri Ram College will continue to empower women to assume leadership roles, become critical thinkers and concerned citizens, who will contribute to the world of knowledge and work.

I congratulate all of you on your College Day and wish all of you the very best in life. I am grateful to the Chairman and the Principal for inviting me here and making me part of your celebrations.

Thank you all


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