The Telegraph, the leading English daily from Kolkata, salutes the indomitable spirit of students, teachers and parents with the 'The Telegraph School Awards For Excellence 2005'.
The Telegraph, under the aegis of The Telegraph Education Foundation, has taken up the challenge upon itself to support, applaud and encourage outstanding performances of schools, students, teachers, principals and even parents, who have emerged as winners, often against undaunting odds.
The Telegraph Education Foundation, which was set up in 1999, believes that it is the right and responsibility of the society to ensure and enable proper education to children. The Foundation, therefore, has a mission to recognise individuals and institutions who transform themselves as they confront real world challenges.
The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged school and college students and is spread across schools in Kolkata and several districts of West Bengal.
The scholarships are supported by caring Kolkatans, several corporate houses and The Telegraph. Run by a board of trustees, the Foundation is chaired by educationist Neil O' Brien and includes eminent personalities of Kolkata.
Throughout the year The Heritage Resources Pvt Ltd, headed by Barry O' Brien monitors the scholarship awardees and their progress. Said Dr Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Editor, Editorial pages, The Telegraph and trustee, The Telegraph Education Foundation, "Every year through The Telegraph Education Foundation we honour extraordinary people in the world of education, students, teachers, and principals, who excelled often against odds. This is our most poignant moment of the year."
Some of the award categories included The Abhirup Bhadra Memorial 'Thank You Baba-Ma Award' for deserving parents who have fought against all odds to support their children's education; 'Dr Mrs N B O' Brien Memorial Award', given to teachers for their exceptional dedication towards their profession; 'Surendra Paul Memorial Award for Courage' for those who have shown fortitude when faced with life's adversity; and 'The Telegraph School of the Year' for the school which has excelled not only in academics but in other areas as well. A new category called 'A School that looks Beyond' was introduced this year.
The nominees in each category were presented with certificates and scholarships, and the winners received gold medals .The ceremony saw the induction of Gopi Ballabh Singh Deo into the Hall of Fame for his work for the Shabors, a denotified and nomadic tribe from Purulia. Three schools from Kolkata were inducted in the Hall of Fame for their all-round performance.
Over the years, The Telegraph School Awards, which has been an important function in the Kolkata social calendar, has been graced by eminent personalities like Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Infosys Chairman and mentor, N R Narayana Murthy, was the chief guest this year. Speaking on the occasion, Murthy said, "I have never had the privelege to participate in such a function. You have raised the confidence of the entire generation of India. I have not seen such heroism, such confidence, such passion."
This salute to the indomitable spirit of the student and academic fraternity is truly in keeping with The Telegraph's own platform of being the 'Unputdownable' newspaper.