Captain G.R. Gopinath to participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of Sainik School in Bijapur
Captain G.R. Gopinath, who revolutionised the civil aviation sector in India with his low-cost airline, is eagerly waiting to visit the school that he believes has made him what he is today.
Mr. Gopinath, an alumnus of the Sainik School, Bijapur, will be coming here after more than three decades to participate in a function to mark the beginning of the yearlong golden jubilee celebrations of the school.
“For me, it is like a homecoming. I am more than privileged to visit the school that shaped my career. I have cherished memories of the school, especially because I was one of the 63 students of the first batch of the school after it was established in 1963,” he told The Hindu on the phone from Bangalore.
Mr. Gopinath is one of over 3,000 alumni known as ‘Ajeets’ of the prestigious Sainik School.
The school, which opened in September 16, 1963, is gearing up for the golden jubilee celebrations from September 15.
Being one of the 24 such schools in the country, Sainik School, Bijapur, boasts an excellent track record and has produced some eminent persons who have earned a name in various fields.
“I am immensely proud to say that over 90 per cent of our alumni have gained a respectable status in society for their contribution to the development of the nation”, says Col. R. Balaji, Principal of the school. He told The Hindu that in the past five decades, 872 cadets from the school had joined the armed forces. Four had attained the rank of Lieutenant General, six became Brigadiers while around the same number of students joined the Indian Administrative Services (IAS).
“Till date, about 18 alumni who joined armed forces have laid down their lives while serving the country,” Col. Balaji said.
School with a difference
Sainik schools were introduced in 1961 with the primary aim of establishing a permanent mechanism for feeding trained manpower to the defence forces.
“The Sainik School, in many ways, is different from other public schools in the country. A Sainik School student enjoys special respect in society because he has gone through strict, disciplined training that distinguishes him from other students”, says Ramesh Bhat, a former stock broker and alumnus of the school.