Contagious Missionary to Promote Science

Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Published on: 1st August 2015
The entire country is today paying homage to our former president APJ Abdul Kalam. I have met him only once - that too for a very short period of time. However, I got an opportunity to interact with his former colleague Dr. Hanuman Prasad Vyas. Dr. Vyas worked in DRDO with Mr. Kalam. Mr. Vyas exhibits tremendous commitment to work, ethics, innovations and scientific temper. Watching Dr. Vyas I get a feeling that I am watching our former President APJ Abdul Kalam. What we read about Dr. Kalam, I observe in Dr. Vyas in day to day life. He walks down to every school and requests the principal to give him some time to show his science experiments to students. Many school principals don’t listen to him, but some do invite him and the result is an amazing transformation of students. Those students who listen to him, start preparing themselves for the journey to become a great scientist. Dr. Vyas also tries to motivate and inspire teachers about how to teach science.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
On 22 July I visited Dr. Vyas and I had a feeling that I was listening to Dr. Kalam.  Dr Vyas asked me to gather a group of students so that he may introduce scientific approach among them. He told me about what he had been doing for promoting science.

In today’s time, when people can fall to any extent to acquire power and positions, Dr. Vyas seems to be from different world. He was appointed as Vice Chancellor of a Government University and then shifted to a Government Engineering College as principal. He tried to introduce true education and single handedly took all possible initiatives for transformation of the educational institution. However, he faced oppositions, political interferences and all types of difficulties and ultimately he was forced to resign.  He had two choices – either to get adjusted to the system or try to mend the system. He tried to mend the system but found that the system was too powerful to be mended. He could have continued, but his commitment to values prevented him. Had there been any other person of contemporary times, he would have definitely done everything to sting to the post. Dr. Vyas left the lucrative post and didn’t utter a single word on this. He is happy in roaming around from school to school, college to college, spreading scientific temper, scientific vision and scientific approach to life. With his personal resources, he has crafted a scientific laboratory to spread science education. 

It’s a tragedy that in our country, people like Dr. H.P. Vyas are superseded and ultimately rejected by the system, which has some other considerations. Vice Chancellors and other similar positions are filled on the basis of proximity to political leaders and not on the basis of innovations in education. Prof. Vyas is today without any post or position, having voluntarily left a coveted government position, however, it is for us to think about our educational systems and institutions.

Dr. Vyas firmly believes in the capabilities of Indian students in spite of all the hurdles they face (due to the system). He firmly believes that Indian students can outperform and become great scientists. He firmly believes that in spite of all the odds, we can still introduce the best of science education even with our limited resources and infrastructure. He has collected some bits of parts and prepared over three dozens of scientific experiments to create understanding of science among the students. It is a mesmerizing experience for the students to watch him demonstrating those scientific experiments. It is tragedy that professors like Dr. Vyas  have to search for institutions to spread his educational innovations, while the government wastes away massive resources in the name of educational innovation.
This my country is
A fertile land of scientists
Every child here is
An aryabhatt in the making
Try hard, but you can’t
Stop these unstoppables
Try hard but you can’t
Reject them for their merit
Create the inventors they will
World to give the space will
For true merit beyond limits
True aspirations beyond restrictions
Rise, rise, rise; they will
Wait, wait wait;  happen it will
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