Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way …………..

The above extract from Tagore’s poem well defines our nation’s thriving status in today’s time. 74 years ago, today, our country transitioned into a sovereign republic. The 74th Republic Day of India in this year is marked with progress and development as our nation has been flourishing in leaps and bounds in the past decade. At Atmiya Vidya Mandir, the 74th Republic Day celebration program was held with so much of gusto and fervour.

The program started at 8:30 A.M. The entire school gathered in front of school’s Admin building’s porch and the students arranged themselves around the flagpole. While the students waited for the guests to arrive, patriotic songs were being played to suit this solemn occasion. The school’s principal, Dr. Vijay Patel, the school’s trustees, P. Natuda and P. Nandlal Kaka and P. Arjun Mama, who were the guests of this program, graced the occasion with their esteemed presence. The Admin building was decorated with the theme of India’s tricolour flag. There were photos of national heroes placed on the sides of the magnificent admin building.

Following the tradition and culture of Atmiya Vidya Mandir, the program began with the poojan of Thakorji. After the poojan, India’s tricolour national flag was hoisted up in the air by our school’s principal sir, Dr. Vijay Patel. Following it, the school’s sports coordinator, Ritesh Sir gave the command for salute to the flag. Then, the school band and the choir group of grades 7th and 8th initiated singing of India’s flag song, Jhanda Ooncha Rahe Hamara, National Song, Vande Mataram and the National Anthem, which were sung with pride by all present. Next to this, Vijay Sir gave a deeply moving, powerfully expressive speech to the students. He said that this is the day we need to understand why our country is so special. We are the democracy with the largest population in the world and despite having such diversity in every sphere of life, we still maintain harmony amongst ourselves and we have had the most stable government in the world. And at the root of this stability, harmony and cultural robustness is our spiritual foundation. As a matter of fact, our shastra nourishes the very feeling of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ and every person is expected to believe that God resides in all of us. Thus, students realised that the true strength of our nation lies in our religion, scriptures, beliefs and age-old culture.

On the day of 26th January, 1950, the constitution, made of many rules, was put into effect to govern our country. This time around it coincided with the auspicious day of Vasant Panchmi, the day on which Shikshapatri was written by Lord Swaminarayan. This spiritual book includes the rules for life. It was also the pragatya diwas of Param Pujya Shastriji Maharaj whose life is a series of highly inspiring lessons. At the dispersal, the students were given sweets as prasad. Later, there was a special screening of the national parade of India on the Kartayva Path for the students of classes 7 and 8. The students from grades 1 to 6 enjoyed no less. They played games such as Jump Over Race, Touch the Cone, Catch the Ball and Build the Empire, etc.

Thus, AVM family celebrated the Republic Day 2023 with pride for getting the constitution of India and also showed their gratitude towards Lord Swaminarayan for gifting the Shikshapatri as an instruction manual for life to all. It was a fantastic day for everyone.

Written by: Dylan M. Patel and Arth L. Rampariya (Grade 8B)