“ ભૂસાતાં જતા ઉમદા મુલ્યો માટે વિદ્યાર્થી ખુદ ચિંતિત બને અને પોતે સમાજમાં નેતૃત્વ લેવા તત્પર થાય તેવી પરિસ્થિતિનું જ્યારે આપણે સર્જન કરીશું ત્યારે આવતીકાલની રુખ બદલી શકીશું.” -સૂર્યકાંત પરીખ
(When we establish such a circumstance in which students concern themselves about their disappearing values and get ready to lead the society, we shall be able to change tomorrow for the better - Surykant Parikh)
Born on 23rd April 1922, Shri Suryakant Chimanlal Parikh received a part of his education in Patan and then studied in Pune till 1948. After completing his M.Ed, he stepped into the field of education. His excellent performance and revolutionary thoughts garnered praises and awards from many institutions.
Around this time, the visionary of Vidyamandir Trust, Palanpur, Late Shri Kantilal Chhotalal Mehta, was in search of an educationist who could share his vision and give wings to his dreams for the institution. In 1960, his search led him to Shri Suryakantbhai Parikh, whom he appointed as Principal of the school. The rest became our cherished history. Shri Suryakantabhai sculpted Vidyamandir into a true temple of learning by elevating it to the highest level with his progressive thoughts, skills, and ability to conduct innovative experiments in education.
In a very short span of time, he became the Director of our Trust. It is to his credit that there was a wave of modernity and innovation in the education field of Palanpur in his time that greatly improved the quality of teaching in the vicinity. His contributions drew the attention of the state and the central government, and several NGOs, which earned him several awards and recognition. In 1965, he received the Best Teacher of the State Award, and two years later, he was honoured with a National Award for the same category by the Central Government.
He considered Palanpur his Karmabhoomi, and he spread the luminance of his immense knowledge by directing the other schools of Banaskantha and taking Vidyamandir to the zenith it continues to own today. His dearest project, Mamtamandir, is the evidence of his noble thoughts. This section of Vidyamandir was established to educate all kinds of specially-abled children for free to empower them to lead an independent life with dignity. Back in the day, his ideas seemed so unconventional that for a few years after the inception of Mamtamandir, he had to work tirelessly with his team to propagate the idea of educating the Divyang and convince people to take it seriously. His efforts were appreciated so much that the Trust received a National Award for his contributions in the special education field in 1987. In 1991, the Mehsana Art and Culture Service Society presented him with the Anart Award for his noteworthy work, and in 1993, he received the Dr. Neelkanth Chhatrapati Award from the National Association for the Blind, Vastrapur, for the same.
He travelled far and wide and introduced the best teaching methods and activities for all the schools of Vidyamandir. Many of our institutions are the gifts of his unfathomable intellect and relentless dedication. He even inspired the patriotic Palanpuris, who had emigrated elsewhere but had their hearts set on their hometown to boost his endeavours.
His thoughts shall never fade, and his work will always bear fruit for every generation of Vidyamandir. On his 100th Birth Anniversary, we bow to him with utmost reverence and love.