Staff Correspondent

Two students who witnessed an event in 1957 took part in the 50th annual aquatic meet recently

MYSORE: Just as the country observed Children's Day on Tuesday, Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala here was proud of its association with the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru whose birthday falls on November 14.

For, the towering personality of India's Independence struggle and the first Prime Minister paid a visit to the vidyashala and inaugurated the swimming pool on September 21 in 1957. Two students of the vidyashala, who witnessed the event then, had their share of nostalgic moments when they came to the vidyashala recently to participate in the 50th annual aquatic meet.

Two of the senior alumni, who had the privilege of participating in the inauguration of the swimming pool, were present. C.S. Channappa Gowda, who was the first to take a dive after receiving the command from Pandit Nehru to mark the inauguration of the pool, and I.P. Jayaraj, who chosen to offer flowers to the late Prime Minister, were present during the aquatic meet.

Addressing the pupils, Pandit Nehru had said, "You are learning how to make yourselves strong in body and fit in mind, so that when you grow up you can do big things." Since its inauguration, more than 5,000 students of the vidyashala have trained in swimming and many have won laurels by emerging as champions in State and national level competitions.

The idea of having a standard swimming pool came from the founder-president of Ramakrishna Vidyashala, Swami Shambhavanandaji, who visualised all round development of pupils in keeping with the ideal of "man-making education" of Swami Vivekananda.