How It Started
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field, I will meet you there”- Rumi
MAMC was always my second home – It gave me what I have and made me a proud doctor and an even prouder Maulanian – a word whose depth only Maulanians will understand. But something felt amiss – the true potential of all those in MAMC was not being tapped, a coldness had crept in the air of MAMC. Whenever we would sit and talk, there were many issues to be addressed in the college but no one to do so. Everyone conveniently shifted the blame to others and along with it, the responsibility of bringing about any needed change. The leadership, proactiveness and the sense of ownership for the college and its people was missing. The learning too, had become superficial and mechanical – as if we were creating robots and not trained human doctors.
On July 1, 2017, I finally took a Leap of Faith. It had become nearly impossible to ignore or procrastinate this recurring thought in my mind. An idea of a space where routine teaching would be done by instilling inspiration and encouraging experimentations, and learning would happen by making mistakes and eventually gaining experiences and not just by reading books. It resembled the image of the Gurukul System – where the mentor sharpens the intellect and enhances academic quotient, along with molding the personality and honing the real-life skills of the mentee.
I firmly believe that the first step in conversion of an intangible idea to a tangible form is to say it out loud to the world. Thus, I finally announced the launch of GURUKOOL. The journey thereon was an experience worthy of a lifetime. Creating this institution from just an idea; it was simply fabulous.
July 22, 2017 was the Day that it All Started; Gurukool held its first official meeting! Even with a thin turnout, there was a palpable excitement in the air. There was excitement in the minds of those who came and even those who couldn’t make it to the meeting; excitement towards an idea, towards a thought that was yet to be fully disclosed.
What was Gurukool? I was as clueless then as I am today. I was unsure as to what GURUKOOL will shape up to be. All that I envisioned was a tree – A Banyan Tree, under which we, Maulanians, would learn, grow, and have fun while doing so. This tree would give us shade and a place of rejuvenation to those who are tired in the course of their lives and labor. It would be a place where ideas will be discussed and debated, and dreams would be turned to reality. It also was to be a place of fun and celebration where everyone – irrespective of caste, color, gender, and economic status would come together. To me, Gurukool was to be that tree for MAMC. And this idea was well captured by a gifted artist of MAMC, Ms Charvi Kundal – in the logo of Gurukool.
The name GURUKOOL combines values and ethics of our heritage – It is the place for holistic learning and a place for modern energy and KOOL-ness of the youth. It is my hope that this name “Gurukool” will keep reminding the future generations of MAMC, the need to achieve balance between various energies, thoughts and our values. I felt that the soul of GURUKOOL was in the idea of “no norms and no boundaries”. Thus, according to me, it was important to emphasize on the point that one does not need a pre-set path in life to earn success.
The first step towards a successful initiative of any nature is to find a team which I fondly call the “PANDAVAS”. The team members, like pandavas, must have unique skill sets but should share a common vision. I was lucky to have my pandavas who brought their head, heart and hands to build Gurukool to its present form. We also found our guides and mentors in Dr Siddarth Ramji (then Dean of MAMC), Dr Narottam Puri and numerous other alumni and faculty.
The Dean’s approval was essential to the establishment of Gurukool, and the Dean not only gave his assent, but also shared in our excitement. His constant encouragement and support in all aspects is one of the key reasons that GURUKOOL could achieve its present status.
In the initial weeks, the main discussion was centered on how to launch this brewing idea and to take it across to all Maulanians. The launch event had to be huge and more importantly, in line with the basic premise and values of GURUKOOL. For an idea as novel as this, the launch event also had to be different than the usual song, dance, and speeches routine. We finally decided to have an assortment of different ideas, strung on a common thread, just as a bouquet of flowers – different, yet together and still beautiful: hence, MAMC Dialogues was conceptualized.
The theme was to be “Doctors who chose to take different paths and were successful”. The launch date was decided to be September 5, 2017 – Teachers’ Day, the day that was symbolic to all of us as learners. Finally, we had our four speakers. All of them were doctors, yet had carved an independent and unique path for themselves: Dr. Sambit Patra – a politician; Dr. Apurv Mehra- a teacher and a motivational speaker; Dr. Ravikant Singh – a Humanitarian Activist; and Dr. Narottam Puri – a Sports Journalist, Singer and Commentator.
Gurukool was finally in front of everyone. Everyone welcomed us and since then, at least in my eyes, MAMC has changed forever. Gurukool has been working tirelessly since that day on several issues, ranging from academics to mental health, from community service to promoting healthy habits, mentorship to research, leadership to making the campus better.
We have been living by our vision, “To make Maulanians and MAMC something to be proud of.” What keeps us going is the constant encouragement from students, faculty, alumni, and others from outside boundaries of MAMC who hear about our work. I wish to thank all members of Gurukool who enriched it with their ideas, and support. I am sure they will be spreading the fragrance of Gurukool, wherever they shall be.
In its 4 years, Gurukool has become inseparable from MAMC and has set high standards of positivity, proactiveness and leadership. But all good things must either evolve or end. It is my personal belief that to achieve true potential, any organization or idea must be exposed to the challenge of change. It needs change of leadership and ideas to grow to its full potential. At the same time, staying true to our roots is also important. Vision of an organization must never be lost amidst new ideas and changing leadership.
To My Love Forever… MAMC and Gurukool.
Dr Anurag Mishra
Founder of Gurukool
Batch 2001, MAMC