I wrote my previous post based on my visit to Unity College in Lucknow. It is always a pleasure to visit it. I saw it when it was set up and run out of a small rented place. And now, it has a magnificent building of its own, set up close to the sprawling monuments built by the nawabs of Avadh.
It is rare to find three institutions with such need-based and complementary missions located in the same premises. Unity College provides education at an affordable cost; Unity Mission School provides totally free education and other necessary support to children who cannot afford to go to any school; and Unity Industrial Training Center provides vocational training to adolescents.
This has been made possible by the vision of Dr. Kalbe Sadiq. He had a dream years ago: Every child has a right to education. He knew achieving it would be difficult, particularly in an area where children were seen (and still are) as an additional working hand to contribute to the family’s income. His model is exceptionally good. It ensures enrolment of children in school, reduces school drop outs, brings drop outs back to the school, and offers vocational skills to those who cannot go for higher education. Dr. Sadiq believes that no one should be deprived of education for want of resources. His institution supports with scholarships as well and several of his students have pursued higher academic and professional education. If someone can’t go for higher education, he or she can get vocational training in a trade of his interest and aptitude and make a dignified living. He has worked towards it consistently, against all odds. Over 2000 students in Unity College, over 1500 children in Mission school and ever increasing enrolment of young men and women in vocational training courses demonstrate the success of his untiring efforts.
Dr. Abdul Kalam Azad, the former President of India, was invited to interact with the students of Unity in one of the recent annual felicitation functions. Dr. Kalam inspired young children as he always does. The success of Dr. Sadiq’s mission is truly depicted in the statement of Dr. Kalam,“ the dream is not what you see in sleep. The dream is what does not let you sleep.”
I feel honoured to mention the two great men of our times in this post and hope it will inspire us not to give up in persuasion of our dreams.