Our Guiding Light
Dr. R.S. Bhatia was a renowned educationist, academician, environmentalist and a philanthropist. A visionary and a man ahead of his time.Dr. R.S. Bhatia took on education as his mission with the belief that education paves the way for progress and development.A warm and compassionate human being, he drew people to himself. His commitment to the cause of education had been the focus of his entire life.
Dr. R.S. Bhatia was born at Shujabad, district Multan in Pakistan on the 24th November 1924, to one of the most affluent families of Punjab. He had his early education from St. Anthonys Convent School at Lahore where he completed his Senior Cambridge. He did his Higher Cambridge from Aitchision College and graduated from Government College, Lahore with Economics in B.A. (Hons.). He got his Post-Graduate degree from Indiana University , Bloomington and earned a Doctorate Degree in Economics from Columbia University, New York. He was widely travelled and interacted with peoples of various cultures. On his return to India in 1954, he taught at three places as a Professor in Economics, at Agra, Pilani and Kurukshetra. He enjoyed teaching and developed a rapport with his students. He resigned in 1981.
Dr. R.S. Bhatia was not only a voracious reader himself but had, for more than three decades, catered to the intelligentsia of the city. The Pratap Public Library has a host of books, reference books of various subjects also widely used by the students of Universities. It subscribes to 14 daily and 35 weekly, several fortnightly and monthly magazines. New books are added year after year to the 60,000 or more collection of books. He took over the reigns of the school in 1981 when it was yet in its initial stage with 80 students. Today, Pratap Public Schools stand as a pulsating edifice. Over 7000 students learn under the guidance of able teachers in the hallowed portals of the institution.
Dr. R.S. Bhatia was a great philanthropist. His altruistic attitude towards social issues was truly noteworthy. He was an ardent social worker. He patronized many social institutions. He was always in the forefront in reaching out in times of peril, natural calamities or disasters. Distressed by the misfortunes of the Tsunami victims, the cyclone affected parts of Orissa and the earthquake at Bhuj, Dr. R.S. Bhatia participated large heartedly in rebuilding lives. His contribution to social causes cannot be put in words. He was a rationalist and was always concerned about rooting out superstitions and ills of the society. He often voiced his opinion openly in his speeches and editorials. A keen observer and analyst of the events of the world, he was a true guide and indeed a living colossus.
Dr. R.S. Bhatia was a cancer patient. An operation to remove his left kidney was performed at the Tata Hospital in July 1990. Cancer had spread its tentacles. Therapies and radiations sapped his strength and energy, but his undaunting and undismayed courage made him carry on. His hearing problem was something he had to live with. His forceful presence at every function infused strength and inspiration to one and all.
His philosophy of education enthuses his team of educators and teachers to take the students beyond the classroom. Dr. R.S.Bhatia said, "Doing is the heart and core of education". He summed it up with the oft-quoted line:
I hear, I forget;
I see, I learn;
I do, I understand.
Even at the age of 85, he said, he still had miles to go and promises to keep.