The Indian Community School, Kuwait organized a solemn gathering as a tribute to the legacy of the late President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela, the great champion of humanity. The gathering was held at the ICSK Senior auditorium on Tuesday, 17th December 2013.The South African Ambassador to Kuwait, His Excellency, Mr. Delary Van Tonder was the chief guest to the gathering and accepted the tribute on behalf of South Africa.
The Honorary Chairman to the ICSK Board Mr.Ashok Kalra ,the Honorary Secretary Mr.Viay Karayil,the academic committee member Mr. Bobby Mathew ,Board members, Parent Advisory Council members ,Principals of ICSK Branch schools ,teachers and students of ICSK passionately averred their allegiance and homage to the great hero.
The ambassador, Mr. Tonder expressed great appreciation for conducting such an event to pay a befitting homage to the late hero, Mr. Nelson Mandela. While quoting from Mr. Mandela’s autobiography,. he emphasized specially upon the lines,”I have walked that long road to freedom .I have made missteps along the way.but I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill ,one only finds that there are many more hills to climb” using this to convey the fact of the great leader’s life as the message to humanity.
He urged the students to read and understand more about the great leader and to be inspired by his noble motives. He euologised the memory of Madiba and talked about the importance of carrying ahead the great legacy left behind by him. Service to humanity ,understanding the needs of the oppressed and creating pathways to overcome exploitation are the noble virtues taught and practiced by the “great Madiba” ;He talked of Mahatma Gandhi,the Indian icon whose profound influence moulded the ideology of Ahimsa in the works of Mr.Mandela and further pointed out that it is the utmost responsibility of the student community to carry forward the messages of our great leaders.
The Principal of ICSK Senior, Dr.V.Binumon welcomed the gathering .He quoted Einstein about the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi that “the generations ahead will wonder if such a person existed in flesh and blood because of the simplicity and extreme love for humanity.”; he aptly pointed out that this same words can be used to describe the greatness of Mr. Mandela, the embodiment of love, tolerance, sympathy and zest for freedom. Mr. Ashok Kalra offered homage to the departed soul in his short yet eloquent speech. He remarked upon the long years of relationship shared between India and South Africa and recounted the instances that triggered the spirit of patriotism in Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to South Africa .He also remarked that Mr. Mandela’s admiration for the ways of Mahatma Gandhi ,namely tolerance and nonviolence has brought both the nations closer over the years .Mr.Vijay Karayil , the Honorary Secretary ,expressed his profound sorrow at the loss of Mr. Mandela, a beacon of hope for the oppressed and suffering .He recounted the personal sufferings that Madiba had to undergo in order to help the oppressed.
Expressing profound gratitude for his valuable time and words of wisdom ,the Honorary secretary Mr. Vijay Karayil handed out a scroll with the signatures of all the members of ICSK senior .It was a scroll prepared by the students ,painstakingly collecting the signature of every one. The Ambassador thanked the students and promised that he will treasure this along with the numerous mementoes he has collected .The Honorary Chairman ,Mr. Ashok Kalra handed out a memento on behalf of the school to mark the school’s special appreciation.
A power point presentation on the life of the great leader added charm to the occasion. Students were privileged for an interactive session with the esteemed ambassador ,it was not only informative but also highly inspirational. As an answer to a question by a student regarding the rejuvenation of the youth due to the teachings of Mandela ,the Ambassador replied that his life was the greatest message, he has left behind a great legacy to be completed by the generations to come, and it becomes the responsibility of each one of us to hold up his values.
The Ambassador Mr. Deleary Van Tonder presented the school library with a few books written by Mr. Mandela, his autobiography ,”The long walk to freedom” included. Mr. Tonder induced the sparks of leadership among the students by highlighting Mr. Mandelas’ motto that a leader should empower himself to inspire others. He also appreciated the school in its earnest efforts for conducting such a memorial and remarked that it is the first time he has attended such a function in any of the Indian schools in Kuwait. A series of programmes followed ,all in memory of the great leader .Skit, mime ,poetry and speeches made the occasion truly memorable.