Influenced greatly by Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and others, a young and idealistic Dr. Jagdish Gandhi ventured in 1959 to create a new mindset through education. With just five children on roll, no personal wealth, and the equivalent of 10 U.S. dollars in borrowed capital, the motivated Dr. Gandhi began his own personal experiment in Lucknow, India, some 51 years ago in the name of City Montessori School. He saw this as more powerful a vehicle to prevent conflicts than working with negotiations and top-down policies alone. To do this, he gave up his own active role and successful career in politics, serving at the time as elected and popular member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state of India.
Today, at the age of 75, Dr. Gandhi has no regrets. He works with the same undiminished zeal towards multiplying his mission for peace through education. In the past 51 years, he has not taken a single day off. He has slept little and has worked through every weekend and holiday. He has rarely had the resources to do his expanded programmes, and although the journey has by no means been easy, the citizens of Lucknow have greatly endorsed Dr Gandhi’s mission and values. Their support has made CMS the world’s largest school with over 39,000 students on its roll this year (a Guinness World Record for the largest school in the world held by CMS since 1999).
Instead of resting on his glories, this recognition has meant that Dr. Gandhi has gained momentum towards his goal. And, despite the fact that his institution is now the world’s largest school, Dr. Gandhi lives simply in the same room in which he began his work for peace in 1959, and he has chosen to have no personal wealth of his own, spending instead all his created resources on his mission. Children are the world’s future.
Dr. Jagdish Gandhi believes the best way to mold the future is to nurture it. Persuaded by the UNESCO Constitution that wars begin in the minds of men, Dr. Gandhi felt it best to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men through education and by nurturing young minds.