Dr Jagdish Gandhi is a man with a mission, an educator par excellence, wedded to the cause of educating the youth of our country to create a new mindset in them in order to establish peace in the world through education.
He saw education as a powerful means to prevent conflicts in the world than working with diplomatic efforts and negotiations. He firmly believes that children are the world’s future and the best way to mould the future is to nurture children.
With this goal in mind, and greatly influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave, at the young age of 23, in 1959, Jagdish Gandhi ventured into opening a school which he named City Montessori School. All that he had with him when he opened the Montessori school in the heart of the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh was the equivalent of ten US dollars borrowed from one of his friends, and five children on the rolls.
Today, as City Montessori School completes 60 years of its existence, it holds the unique Guinness World Record for the largest school in the world, with over 56,000 students on its rolls, a record it has maintained since the year 1999. From the time “Montessori” was first established, Dr Gandhi has assiduously worked to promote a broader definition for education: an education that encompasses the three dimensions in the life of a child: material, human and spiritual.
Dr Gandhi maintains that such a balanced education trains the minds of children not only to think within the confines of jobs and material gain, but also in terms of leadership and contribution to the society at large, so as to become conscientious citizens of their country and of the world. He introduced the Quality Circle Concept in education, and has been the chairman of the World Council for Total Quality and Excellence in Education since 1999. The Council tirelessly works to improve the quality of education around the world, especially in school children.
Since 2001, he has been annually convening the International Conference of the Chief Justices of the World to create awareness and to mobilise the world judiciary to create a safe world for the over 2.5 million children of our times, and generations yet to be born. Till now, over 1100 Chief Justices and Judges of the Supreme Courts and High Courts from more than 136 countries of the world have participated in these conferences and pledged their support to the cause of creating a world safe for children.
Despite the fact that he heads the world’s largest school, Dr Gandhi still lives in the same room in which he began his mission for “world peace through education” in 1959. He has chosen to have no personal wealth of his own, spending instead all his created resources on his mission.