Madam Grace Pinto is the Managing Director of Ryan International Group of Institutions, the largest singly owned network of K-12 institutions spread across over 15 states and 40 cities of India. Her determination and commitment in pursuing the vision of “Excellence in Education and All Round Development” makes her a stalwart in the field of education in India. She is an ardent supporter of various social causes such as environmental conservation and girl child education. Her contribution to education and social causes has been recognized with national and international honours.
PEARL D’SOUZA had an exclusive chat with Madam Grace Pinto for THE TEENAGER TODAY.
PD: The Ryan Group is credited with being the pioneer in providing all-round exposure to their students and valuable life skills training. What is the guiding ethos for the Ryan Group?
GP: We as a group draw our strength from Christ Jesus and attribute our journey this far to His glory. The organizational vision and our anchorage in Christ compels us to make a continuous effort to make a worthwhile contribution to the lives of thousands of children and staff across the nation. We believe that it is God’s grace and His divine direction coupled with inspiration and relentless hard work that has brought us this far and we recognize we have miles to go to make an impact on generations to come.
PD: You set up the first school in 1976 in Mumbai with merely 35 children and 1 teacher. Today, you cater to over 2 lakh students through over 130 schools. Where does this tremendous passion and drive come from?
GP: Establishing India’s premier education brand and matching it with global standards was no easy task. It involved a vision that has taken the Ryan family from its fledgling beginnings to soar like an eagle. We remain rooted and grounded in Christ who continues to empower and enable us to provide value-based holistic education and develop socially responsible and humane leaders.
PD: You have always encouraged your students to give and reach out. Why is this an important value? How satisfied are you about this value being imbibed in students today?
GP: Teaching the value of ‘giving’ to children is crucial and important in a world where they are constantly bombarded with the concepts of ‘want’ and ‘greed’ being regarded the norm. Our students need to learn to value the blessings they possess in material things and possessions, but more importantly family and friends who challenge them to be better people. We want our children to learn their social responsibility and become agents of significant constructive change in society bringing God’s love to those in genuine need. Over the years we have seen our students grow as responsible adults who continue to contribute to make the world a better place.
PD: How has Ryan International sought to inculcate this value in their students?
GP: The Ryan International Group has in place purposeful activities aimed at the welfare of society. Our schools undertake various projects based on the parameters of environment, education, healthcare, economic empowerment and local community leadership to transform society. Our students are encouraged to support orphanages, societies for the blind, adopt small villages, educate less privileged children and help homes for the elderly in different parts of the country. Recently, through the Ryan Schools’ Food Bucket Challenge initiative, our students successfully collected over 550,000 kilos of food items and distributed it to over 200 NGOs in India.