Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 92

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KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
Alone in thecrowd
WhenGandhi gave a call toboycott British-oriented
schools in 1920, Jamnalal Bajaj promptly did as hewas
told.He enthusiastically organised a conference on
‘BasicEducation’ in 1937 inWardha. But no alternative
systemwas inplacewhen Jamnalal’s five children
were at school-going ages. They paid the price for
experimentation:many of the schools they attended
didnot have a curriculum let alone teachers trained in
child education.
AmongMarwaris, daughters were less affected. It
did notmatter if their educationwas rudimentary,
theywere ‘
paraya dhan
’ – thewealth of others, biding
their time in their parents’ home until marriage. In
an earlier era, it was not a problem for boys either.
Jamnalal had to leave school to join the family
business at age nine. But times were different. You
neededEnglish to negotiate technology ventures with
foreign companies, to be able to export to earn foreign
Planning for theyoungof thenew India. ConferenceonBasicEducation,Wardha, 1937. Among those standingareThakkarBappa, JamnalalBajaj,
KakaKalekar andAryanayakam. Among those sittingareAshadevi Aryanayakam, ZakirHussain, BGKher, RajendraPrasad,HansaMehta, Perin
Naoroji, Vallabhai Patel, VishwanathDas, RavishankarShuklaandAcharyaNarendraDev.
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