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Ved Prakash Sharma: A Short but Rich Life in Kenya | Coastweek

NEW DELHI India -- Ved Prakash Sharma was government officer, a bank manager and a school principal. His degree in teaching came in handy as he became a teacher and later principal of Shree Sanatan Dharam Sabha Primary School, Nairobi, in 1955. In 1962, he established New Era College, on Government Road, Nairobi, while his son joined him in 1964 after resigning as a teacher from government service. With deep interest in all religions, he studied holy scriptures of the major faiths. As a powerful orator, he became president of the Arya Samaj in Ahmedabad and Bombay and in Kenya, he started studying and immersing in the Gita and starts working on a planned bookGita in the Atomic Age.

 

A Short but Rich Life in Kenya - Ved Prakash Sharma was
government officer, a bank manager and a school principal

NEW DELHI India -- A government officer, a bank manager and a school principal, Ved Prakash Sharma lived a short but rich life, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

Above all, he was a scholar who loved reading and an orator who commanded attention.

He added a new dimension of current affairs to education after he established New Era College in Nairobi in 1962.
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Ved Prakash Sharma: A Short but Rich Life in Kenya | Coastweek   To broaden the outlook of secondary and business education students, he initiated a Current Affairs Club to invite ministers, social activists, diplomats and experts to talk to students while making overseas contacts with various organisations.

With school books donated by US, a Kennedy Memorial Library was opened by the US Ambassador to Kenya William Attwood in 1965.

A letter from Robert Kennedy with four books written by John Kennedy was received stating:

"Our family deeply appreciates your very generous remembrance of President Kennedy.

"He would have been proud to be so honoured," writes Robert Kennedy on 3 August.

A Kenyan Minister James Osogo inaugurated ‘Gallery of Greats’ with a portrait of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the Indian High Commissioner adds portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in 1966.

Freedom from Hunger Campaign director Dorothy Hughes talked about tackling hunger.

A Canadian teacher, Elizabeth Woods, came to teach English from Canadian University Service Overseas.

NEW DELHI India -- A Short but Rich Life in Kenya - Ved Prakash Sharma was government officer, a bank manager and a school principal.
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A student, Mitch Oderrow went on to teach at New Era; he was motivated to learn journalism and went on to become the Chief Editor of ‘The Standard’.

Another student, Freddie Muila, was invited by Atlanta Chiefs Soccer Club for a trial period in Georgia, USA.

Information materials were elicited from Tokyo and Mexico Olympics Organisation Committees.

As these events made news, these initiatives set this college apart from other private colleges as a prestigious intuition.

Starting life as the only son of a rich landowner turned art teacher, Vasu Deva, he was born on 3 December 1912 in Pakpattan, District Montgomery, Punjab, now in Pakistan.

Three years later, his mother died and he was brought up by his aunt in Jullander.

While at school, when he was eight years old, his father sailed for England for further art studies.

When his father returned in 1927 after becoming an Associate of the Royal College of Art in London and then touring Europe for four years, he moved to Lahore.

Sine he had passed his high school examination, he enrolled at the Forman Christian College, and passed his bachelor’s degree with Honours in English and in 1928 and passed his master’s degree in 1933.

Two years later, he passed Bachelor of Teaching Degree at Central Training College, Lahore, in 1936.

In 1937, he was appointed a Gazetted Officer with Government of India, at Pakpattan.

He married Shakuntla, daughter of Late Ram Darshan Office Supt. Lahore High Court.

Two children – a son, Kul Bhushan, and a daughter, Aruna, – were born in 1938 and 1940.

After resigning from the civil service in 1945, he joined the Punjab National Bank.

His father died a year later.

The bank appointed him manager of its Ahmedabad branch and later in Bombay.

So, at the time of partition in 1947, he and his family were safe in Ahmedabad.

In 1949, he resigned from Punjab National Bank as he had a job offer from Franklin Square National Bank, New York, but was unable to travel to USA due to forex and other restrictions.

The next five years were tough as he moved back to Ahmedabad until he got a chance to go to Kenya in 1953.

His degree in teaching came in handy as he became a teacher and later principal of Shree Sanatan Dharam Sabha Primary School, Nairobi, in 1955.

The then Governor of Kenya, Sir Evelyn Baring Coutts, attended the annual function of the school and compliments him on his work.

As his health declined with the first heart attack in 1958, He left his job and took on light work.

In 1962, he established New Era College, on Government Road, Nairobi, while his son joined him in 1964 after resigning as a teacher from government service

"New Era’ The Magazine for Young Kenyans was his last project before he succumbed to his third heart attack and died in1966, aged 54.

With deep interest in all religions, he studied holy scriptures of the major faiths.

As a powerful orator, he became president of the Arya Samaj in Ahmedabad and Bombay and in Kenya, he started studying and immersing in the Gita and starts working on a planned book – Gita in the Atomic Age.

The news of his death appears in The Sunday Nation and later an obituary appears in The East African Standard.
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Brother former President John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy sends his condolences, among the numerous tributes from his relatives and friends.

Kennedy wrote to his son, Kul Bhushan:

"I was very sorry to learn of your father’s death and you have my deepest sympathy.

"He will be missed not only by his family, but by the student body for whom he did and gave so much."

 
 

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