OUR FOUNDERS AND PATRONS Birla Vidyamandir has remained privileged
in being associated with tall personalities
OUR FOUNDERS AND PATRONS
Birla Vidyamandir has remained privileged in being associated with tall
personalities, renowned educationalists, popular leaders and successful
industrialists. The long cherished aspiration of Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant to
instal an educational institution on the lines of public schools in Kumaon
region, materialised with the active munificence of Shri G. D. Birla. The
brain-child of Pt. Pant was delivered by Birlaji and nursed very carefully by
the scholars and educationalists like Lt. Com. S.D. Pande, Dr. C.D. Pande, Dr.
Sampurnanand, Shri Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Shri Kailash Nath Katju and Shri Kailash
All these founder members decided unanimously that the education to be imparted
in this school should have its roots sound in the Indian culture but at the same
time it should prepare the students well to face the challenges of the time and
respond to the moment.
Half a century is not a very big period in the life of an institution yet it is
good enough to assess and evaluate the aims and objectives achieved. It is the
time to rediscover ourselves as an institution and rededicate as individuals for
the institution in the changing context of the time.
Remembering the founders and the patrons on this occasion is not just a
customary service but a pious obligation and a blissful exercise for the growth
and development of the institution. The interest and care taken by Shri B.K.
Birla, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarla Birla, Shri K.K. Birla and Late Shri Aditya Birla has
always kept the graph of the development of this institution on the rise.
Pt Govind Ballahh Pant
Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant was the tallest, multi-faceted personality, the Kumaon
region has produced in the modern times. Having come from a village background
with first-hand knowledge and experience of the difficulties people face in the
hills, he nursed a strong aspiration from his childhood to bring a change in the
life style of the people living here. His academic brilliance as a student, his
compassion for the poor and sufferer, his sociability, his fervour and vigour as
exhibited in his active participation in the freedom movement, his qualitative
leadership as proved in abolishing the forced labour by raising a movement in
Kumaon region stand testimony to the stature he rose to with his hard work. A
man of this stature was soon hooked up by the national leaders like Gandhiji and
Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru.
As an advocate he was amongst the top few India had during those times. His
arguments in the Kakori case not only testify to his patriotism but also to his
sharp intellectual acumen. His tenure as the Chief Minister of U.P. and later on
as the Union Home Minister speak volumes about how able and successful
administrator he was.
His strong commitment to Indian culture, traditions and thought with a wider
exposure to the social life at the national level and a close concern for the
educational development of Kumaon region developed a strong desire in his bosom
to install an institution on public school lines in this region.
Birla Vidyamandir was founded with his sole inspiration and he remained actively
involved in all the affairs of the school even when he was shouldering big
responsibilities at the state and national level.
The association of this luminary with the school earned it the national fame and
a large number of top dignitaries of the country visited the school with his
Our glowing tribute to this stalwart can not be paid in words. We can aspire and
try but only to find ourselves falling short.
Shri Ghanshyam Das Birla
If Pt. Govind Blallabh Pant was the spirit behind the inception of Birla
Vidyamandir, Shri Ghanshyam Das Birla was all body, mind and the intellect of
the school the spirit could manifest itself only with the active support and
harmonious sustenance of the body.
The term 'great' is often so loosely used for the high achievers in life that it
does not describe the stature of the person like Shri Ghanshyam Das Birla and
Pt. Pant. It becomes difficult even for the history to make a right judgement of
the stature of such persons.
Birlaji was associated with the freedom movement and actively financed the
activities of the freedom fighters. Starting from the scratch Birlaji could
emerge the biggest business house of the country in his own life time. He grew
with the growth of Indian economy and Indian economy developed with his growth.
The true spirit of Gandhian thought on business, 'Trusteeship', was manifested
in Birlaji's life. The essential traits of simplicity, frugality and generosity
moulded the life and outlook of Birlaji that he became a pioneer business house
to donate generously for the projects ensuring social welfare. His priorities
were building beautiful temples, preserving the rich cultural heritage on the
lines of Indian architecture and sculpture and making them self-sufficient for
the maintenance on the modem lines and installing educational institutions from
primary school to the advanced technological institutes and deemed universities
for the serious work in the field of education.
Shri G.D. Birla became a legend in Indian industry and enterprise. As a founder
Chairman of United Commercial Bank, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta and the
Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry his genius
could find an outlet in supporting the Indian economy to take up a sound
footing. He represented Indian delegation in the second Round Table Conference
and resigned from the membership of Indian Legislatures Assembly in protest
against a bill for Imperial preference. As a member .of the Indian Fiscal
Commission on labour he represented Indian Employers at the International Labour
Conference at Geneva. He was a scholar and the author of several books in Hindi
A close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, he established the Birla Education Trust in
the desert village ofPilani which is at present the largest educational
endowment in the country.
Padmavibhushan G.D. Birla's munificence brought Birla Vidyamandir into existence
and even after fifty years it is Birla House only which is looking after the
functioning of the school.
Shri Shukdeo Pande
Born in the family of royal priests of Chand dynasty, Lt. Com. S. D. Pande
inherited the traits of spirituality, social services and education and
developed them right from his childhood. When he was student only he formed a
club and started running a school. His commitment to educate the people of the
hills and bring them to the mainstream of modern education could be reflected in
his choice of the career as a Professor in Banaras University.
An eminent scholar of mathematics, Com. Pande could attract the attention of a
man like Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya only because of his strong concern for the
educational upliftment of the society. When Shri G.D. Birla approached Pt.
Malviya to suggest him a suitable hand to take up his educational projects under
Birla Education Trust, Panditji has no second thought in proposing the name of
Shri S. D. Pande.
Having won awards from different institutions, Shri Pande’s genius was
recognized by British Government which decorated him with the title of
Lieutenant Commander and later on Indian Government honoured him with Padmashri.
An honorary ‘Doctor of Science’ degree was conferred on him by Kumaon
Shri Pande remained actively associated with Birla Vidyamandir right from its
inception. He was the architect of its total planning and the execution. He
played a pivotal role in the formation of giant institutions like Birla
Institute of Technology and Sciences, Vidya Niketan Pilani and many other
schools and colleges run by Birlaji. His organizing capacity with a keen sense
of proportion and ability to inspire devotion in others became foundation stones
of these well-known institutions.
He was an example for others to emulate. He dedicated a larger portion of his
property for the cause of education. He was very strict to his own self. This
brought him to a commanding position in all spheres wherever he worked.
The school was deprived of the masterly hand which guided its density through
difficult years of growth by the icy fangs of death. The voice is silent but the
spirit sustains and its encompassing presence in the form of these institutions
eloquently guided us to the path of growth.
Having worked as the close aide of Pt. Govind Ballabh Pantas the private
secretary, Dr. C. D. Pande was well aware of the mind of Panditji and his
aspirations about the school. He remained on the governing body as the active
member right from the initial stages. The responsibility of leading the destiny
of the school fell on his shoulders in 1980 when he took over as the President,
Board of Governors. He continued till the command of the Almighty made us
condole his absence in 1988.
Dr. C. D. Pande was an eminent scholar of rare breed. He was conferred D.Litt by
Sorborne University, Paris for his magnificent work on European History and
Economics. But he never remained a scholar of the library or reading room. He
was an active representative of the masses in Parliament and a renowned freedom
fighter who was jailed for his crucial role in non-cooperation movement led by
Mahatma Gandhi. He was an erudite Professor of European History in Kashi
Vidyapeeth, Varanasi. His scholarship and keen understanding were exhibited in
the Parliamentary debates which formed a record for reference. His pragmatic
approach to the issues were complimentary to the idealistic and principled
personality of Lt. Com. S. D. Pande.
Though the time had incapacitated him physically but his strong commitment to
the school always kept him active. Whenever any problem of the school was
brought to his notice, old age, physical weakness and becoming invalid did not
stop him from giving his valuable guidance for the growth of the school.
Shri C.B. Gupta
Late Shri C.B.Gupta groomed himself from a common man's background to the level
of the most popular leaders of the masses of his time. Having participated
actively in the freedom movement and struggled at different levels in his fight
against the British Government, his familiarity and sensitivity towards the
masses, problems of the country, currents and undercurrents in the society
tremendously increased and he used this familiarity with his sharp acumen for
the reconstruction of the Nation and reorganisation of the society after
In his attempt of social work he could never be found, blindly opposing any
constructive or creative endeavour nor could he be found pleading for the
struggle between different classes or communities of the society. He had such
broad vision that on the one hand he spent all his life working strenuously for
the upliftment of the poor, the downtrodden and the destitute; on the other hand
he very carefully nursed his sympathies and concern for giving proper direction
to the lives of the well-to-do classes and assigned them their role in the
reconstruction of the Nation.
It was here that Birla Vidyamandir looked at him after the demise of Late Pt.
Govind Ballabh Pant for his valuable guidance. Though he was associated with the
school right from its inception, his active role as President, Board of
Governors could benefit the school only after 1962. Since then his love, care
and concern for the school gave it not only stability but also glorious heights
which the school deserved and achieved.
He remained closely and actively associated with the school as its guiding
spirit till the Almighty snatched him away from us in 1980.
Syt. B K Birla ji and Dr. (Smt.) Sarala Birla
Shri B. K. Birla remained associated with Birla Vidyamandir right from its
inception as the son of Shri G. D. Birla, the founder of the institution.
Continuing the glorious traditions of the family, Shri B. K. Birla has been
taking keen interest in the growth and the development of the school. He has
proved himself a worthy decendent of our founder by involving himself and
putting in result-oriented serious efforts in varied directions. His
multi-faceted genius equips him with the necessary calibre to personally monitor
various projects in the field of education, culture, art, sculpture and
Having won several honours from government, semi-government and private
organisations in the country and outside the country, Shri B.K. Birla's
achievements sing a glorious song of a life useful for the mankind. His saga of
success touch the lives of millions and inspire them to undertake the trait of
His love and devotion for art, culture and education finds no parallel when we
look at a large number of quality institutions patronised by him. Birla Academy
of Art and Culture is devoted' to promoting visual arts, culture and literature.
Ravindra Sarobar in Calcutta is pageantry of unique collection of ancient
Indian, sculptures, miniature paintings, bronzes, textiles and terra-cottas with
a gallery of International Modern Art. This Academy organises various lectures
on arts, culture, literature and discourses on religious and spiritual subjects.
Nritya Sangam, Swar Sangam, and Sangeet Kala Mandir at Calcutta own two fully
air-conditioned auditoriums with seating capacities of more than a thousand
persons. The Temple of Understanding, Washington aims at fostering education,
communication and understanding among the world religions by holding World
Spiritual Summit Conferences all over the globe.
Shri B.K. Birla is committed to raising up the opportunities for quality
education at all levels. He patronises education from primary school to the
advanced Research Institutes fulfilling the requirements of the modern age. The
greatest beauty of his planning is that he keeps all these institutions
self-reliant with a sensitive potential of growth and development after
providing all necessary facilities for building up the infrastructure. Birla
Education Trust, Pilani caters to the education of 12000 students.
Internationally renowned Birla "Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
enjoys the status of standard bearer all over the world, producing experts in
technology who are readily accepted everywhere.
Apart from being a doyen of industries dealing in Textile, Paper, Shipping,
Cement, Tea, Coffee, Chemicals and Plywood, Shri B.K. Birla received
International Awards for his humane qualities. He was conferred “Officer in the
order of Organge Nassau” by the Netherlands Government and “Officer in the order
of the Crown” by the Belgian Government. His ardent love for music, art,
literature, sports and photography groomed him with such a refined sensibility
that many of his photographs have been exhibited in several countries winning
the certificates of merits and medals. He wrote a beautiful book ‘Swantah
Sukhaya’ which unveils the secret of his success. It is an autobiographical note
on his life's pilgrimage.
Dr. (Smt.) Sarala Birla, the daughter of Vidarbha Kesari Late Shri
Brijlalji Biyani, Smt. Sarala Birla was married to Shri B.K. Birla, the youngest
son of late Shri G.D. Birla. Coming from politically and socially conscious and
reputed family of Berar, Smt. Sarala Birla found ample opportunities to nurse
and promote her inherent taste for social work in the family of Birlas.
Having had her school education in Akola and University education in the famous
Fergusson College Poona, she continued her process of learning on the larger
dimension of the society through her active involvement in the spheres of
industrial management, education, culture, art, religion and various other
projects undertaken by Birla Trusts.
She has received many awards and honours for her contribution in the field, of
education and for her services to the industrial and. social activities in India
and abroad. She was conferred on the degree of D.Litt by Mohanlal Sukhadia
University, Udaipur in recognition to the outstanding contribution made by her
in the field of education. She is the only Indian woman who received the highest
award of the China Academy, Taiwan called ‘Shikshavid’. She also received the
highest award from the government of Ethiopia, ‘The Medal Menalik II’, for her
significant contribution in the industrial and social activities of Ethiopia.
N.V.Gadgil National Society awarded Smt. Sarala Birla with its highest honour in
1994 for her untiring efforts in awakening the people for education and social
She takes keen interest in business activities. She was the founder
Vice-Chairperson of the Indo-Ethiopian Textile Share Company, Addis-Ababa. In
all the meetings of the B.K. Birla group of companies her opinions and
assessments are' seriously heard and implemented.
She is an eminent person in the social life of Calcutta and widely respected for
her significant contribution and achievrnents in the field of education, art,
culture, religion and sports. A chain of Birla schools in Calcutta, Pilani,
Delhi and Kumaon hills and the most modern theatres of Calcutta exemplify her
field of activities in education and performing arts. All these institutions are
bubbling with activity on their way up to growth and development under the kind,
caring and affectionate guidance of Smt. Sarala Birla.
Smt. Birla is a renowned scholar with spiritualistic bent of mind. Her thought
provoking book on philosophy, ‘Anhad Ki Jhankaren’ has been well received and
talked about by educationalists all over the country. As the famous saying goes
‘there is always a gentle and noble woman behind the success of any eminent man’
- Saralaji has always remained supportive and inspiring to Shri B.K. Birla even
during the worst moments of their life. One can only imagine how much she must
have exerted to keep herself temperate when they lost their only son and a
glorious industrialist of the country late Shri Aditya Vikram Birla in 1995.
Smt. Jayshree Mohta, Chairperson of the School
Her active involvement in the growth of Birla Vidyamandir testifies to her
capability and interest in the field of education. Her boundless love for the
institution enabled it to scale glorious heights. Her dynamism, respect for
basic values in life and large heartedness have remained an inspiration for us
to move forward and face all problems with confidence , courage and conviction.
For its current growth and achievements the school owes quite a lot to
their learned guidance and planning.