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LIVING FOR EVERYONE AND ACCESS TO ALL: THE MODI WAY OF LEADERSHIP!
The narrator shares the wisdom and insights gained through her several interactions with PM Modi. From his humility and ease of conversation, his passion for education, love for technology and above all, his advice that we should never lay claim on things that don’t rightfully belong to us, the narrator brings out the various facets of PM Modi’s versatile personality. The first time I got an opportunity to meet him, he met me with a question. As I entered his cabin, he asked me “Is Kishorilal still working as a teacher?” “No, no! Now he is Principal”, I responded. Then I narrated to Modiji what Kishorilalji always said to me. He has always told me that it isn’t possible to get in touch with Narendra Modi and that I cannot talk to him if I wish to. But I remember myself retorting with “Well, whoever told you that!” I immediately picked up my phone and dialled Narendra bhai. Within two minutes I received a call back from one of the karyakartas saying that Narendra bhai would like to speak with me. Kishorilalji was absolutely amazed to see how quick the response was from Modiji’s office! After listening to my rendition of this conversation with Kishorilalji, Narendra bhai asked me “Do I not have two ears? Do I not have two eyes and a nose? Don’t I have a heart? If I do, then what stops me from communicating, interacting and connecting with people?” This is what defines Modiji. His nature and temper are simple and unassuming. His position in life does not stop him from interacting with people with ease and warmth. And what is most endearing about Modiji is that he remembers incidents from years ago. Narendra bhai asked me about Kishorilalji who was in touch with him more than 25 years back. Kishorilalji is my uncle and is 65 years old now. Modiji must have got acquainted with him during his karyakarta days. This interaction with Modiji remains etched in my mind.
It was my good fortune that I got to meet Narendra bhai several times while he was Chief Minister. I have always been associated with the education department. Working with children for their development has been a passion for me. Once, I recollect, I had to resolve an issue regarding provision of nutritious food for children. I went to meet Narendra bhai for the same and while I was waiting outside to meet him, I came to know that an agency had paid a visit to him regarding this issue. I remember the tip he gave me to this day “Taste the food. If you find it palatable, be sure that children will love it too.” And more than that, he said something that touched me to the core. He said “This is something that I have no right over. Only children have the right over these and this food rightfully belong to them. Therefore, I cannot even partake even a morsel of this food.” The crux of his message was that the rightful owner of something alone must get to use it. No one else can lay claim to even the tiniest piece of that thing. This indeed has been one of the biggest lessons that I have learnt from Narendra Modi.
Vidya Bharti is committed to the resolve of establishing Ekal Shikshan Mandir all over India. The aim of this endeavour is to take bhartiya education to the remotest areas of India. So once we visited an Ekal Vidyalaya located in a densely forested area. Our Acharya used to visit this school once or twice weekly and spent quality time with children. He would play with them, teach them and narrate stories to them. It is worth mentioning here that this place too had been established and inaugurated by Narendra bhai. Not just this, Vidya Bharti has one of its schools here as well and Narendra bhai attended a function here in 2002. I distinctly remember him placing his chair conveniently in the middle of bushes and a few people had been invited for the event. Today, that Ekal Mandir which was established by Narendra bhai has been converted into a Shishu Mandir. Narendra bhai has been closely associated with my family. My father used to share with me some of the finest qualities of Narendra bhai. The foremost of these virtues was his effort and desire to always stay up-to-date. During those early days, we would not have steam irons or even normal irons easily available. Whenever Narendra bhai visited the Prashikshan Varg, he had a unique way of keeping his clothes prim and proper. When everyone would go off to sleep, Narendra bhai would then take off his kurta and iron it. But the irony is that there used to be no iron! So what would he do? He would use a globular water container to this purpose, which is commonly known as the ‘lota’. He would fill it up with hot water and straighten the creases by using the ‘lota’ in place of an iron. Not just this, Narendra bhai’s penchant for technology is well known. He keeps himself abreast with the functioning and use of newest technologies. He used to motivate everyone close to him to know and use more of latest technology available in the market. If you remember, we used to have the Pager in those days. Well, at a time when no one would think of owning a pager, Narendra bhai was pro in its use. He possessed one and would harness the technology to connect with people with ease and speed. Such is Narendra bhai’s vision and mission for India as well!
TO BE CONTINUED...
COMPILED AND EDITED BY SHASHIKANT SHARMA AND SHWETA SHARMA