Awards and award functions are nothing new to us. Almost every other day we read in the newspapers of people receiving Awards, in many cases created at the “spur of the moment,” often created with a view to attract the attention of the media, and possibly to curry favour and patronage from the recipient, directly or indirectly, at times even belittling the cause it is instituted for.
Quite unlike these, and away from the media glare, a special Award was instituted on December 10, 2018, and was conferred on a very deserving person. The Award constituted that day is the J. Maurus National Award for Innovation in Education, in memory of our founder: Fr J. Maurus, a man with far-reaching vision, and a bold innovator, someone who dared to “think out of the box” besides being a prolific writer with over 125 inspiring and timely books to his credit.
He founded THE TEENAGER (now THE TEENAGER TODAY). the first-ever national magazine for teens in the country, and possibly the oldest and the only surviving youth magazine in India, today. He gave the then St Paul Publications a new brand name: BETTER YOURSELF BOOKS, the parent organisation of THE TEENAGER TODAY and the INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE — two periodicals that reach every month millions of young people and their schools and families, today.
The Award was instituted to mark the 55th Birth Anniversary of THE TEENAGER TODAY, which J. Maurus founded in November 1963. Fr J. Maurus passed away in Italy, on 1 February 2018. With deep gratitude in our hearts, we place a beautiful bouquet of flowers at his holy grave, as we cross a very important milestone in the life of our magazine.
The first recipient of the national Award instituted in memory of Fr J. Maurus is Dr Jagdish Gandhi, the Founder-Manager of Lucknow-based City Montessori School, which has on its rolls more than 56,000 students, and holds the Guinness World Record for the largest number of students in a school.
At 82, Dr Gandhi is also a tireless crusader for world peace through education, and for the cause of giving the children of the world a safe place to live in. We are extremely grateful to Dr Gandhi for accepting the special Award, and finding time to be with us, and are delighted to feature him in our New Year issue, now in your hands.