Dr Mohan Ji Bhagwat presided over the first convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in the presence of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, the Founder of the University and a galaxy of dignitaries. Bhagwat Ji’s presence at the event carried a special significance for the fact that this University is one-of-its-kind to provide higher education completely free of any cost to needy rural youths, on the foundation of the ancient Indian gurukula system of learning and living in a residential set-up.
A note-worthy point is that 50% of the graduands who convoked this year from the University were first generation literates, most of whom were also the first higher educated literates in their whole village. These students have been trained for fulfilling the very purpose of education, which is to serve the needy in society and hence they shall join their almamater – Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions which is running 27 school campuses across 22 districts in Karnataka, 1 in Telangana and 1 in Tamil Nadu, completely free of cost to the rural children.
The first convocation of the University celebrated achievement and altruism by honouring six eminent personalities from various fields of excellence with honorary doctorates. Dr R Chidambaram – India’s most distinguished experimental physicist, Dr K Kasturirangan – Former Head of Indian Space Research Organisation, Mr Sunil Gavaskar – Cricket Legend, Pandit M Venkatesh Kumar – renowned hindustani classical vocalist, Ms Purnima Devi Barman – wildlife conservationist from Assam, and Mr C Sreenivas – Chairman of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Child Heart Care Centres, were bestowed their honorary doctorates by Dr Mohan Ji Bhagwat.
Bhagwat Ji also visited a multi-speciality hospital that provides completely free of cost healthcare – Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, which is soon to become a teaching and training hospital for the world’s first free medical college in the same premises.
Dr Mohan Bhagwat spoke thus in his convocation address – “The act of offering education completely free of cost to needy children has truly impacted the lives of these children beyond their imagination. The motive behind using individual excellence to bring about collective excellence is the goodness behind this University. Transformation is the need of the hour—the kind of transformation that shall change the face of Bharath is what I am witnessing here.”
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai remarked – ““Our work is our identity, our work is our worship. This first convocation of the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence has produced graduands who will dedicate their knowledge and skills for the service of the society. Being a right example to the society is the highest form of service one can ever render, and these graduands will be exemplars of this kind of service.”