ANOTHER PILLER GIVES WAY : THE SAGA INSTITUTIONAL DECAY OF A GREAT COLLEGEI have written thousands of times by now that institutions are not built by bricks but by the institution builders. What I
haven’t yet written is that institution builders are often (and mostly) neglected, dejected, relegated and even asked to
leave the institutions. I have written thousands of times that institutions are important and institutions need to playtheir r
ole, the role of change agents , the role of creative social framework. What I haven’t written is that the society
should reflect upon its attitude and its approach towards institution builders. How long the society will continue tocherish the neglectful role towards institution builders. The institution builders are not the donors, but the workers(faculty members, staff and other employees) who create the spirit of the institution. They work for the basic purposefor which the institution has been set up. I have witnessed many institutions in different stages of their growth or decay.The management of the institutions take decisions
which either make or mar the institutions.
Many people consider me a good institution builder, but they probably don’t
know about how I went ahead andtransformed institutions. When I was trying to transform a school (as a member of the academic committee), the focusof all my initiatives was on organizing teacher development programmes and on giving the teachers required freedom toexecute their innovations. I used to talk to the teachers only about the possibility of innovations and on the possibility of creating a truly learning environment. During my speech in the school I talked about the amazing capabilities that thestudents can have if they get proper guidance. I was only a small part in the entire team doing our work and the resultwas amazing. Soon my requirements were over and I realized that I need to leave. I left silently. When I was working inan NGO trying to transform itself, I gave full freedom to the functionaries and made them feel that they can do amazingthings. My words and my role worked and the organization really started doing amazing work. The NGO started doingwhat it was supposed to do. However, I soon realized that there was no need of myself any more. I got indirectmessages and realized that there were some people who gave more importance to coming on time and leaving on timeand on procedural aspects. I decided to quit silently.I now talk about another institution which I built from the scratch. I stressed on raising standards and keeping to thosestandards. I insisted on building capabilities in every person. My ideas worked, although I had to quit. I couldnot sustainthe pressure of the sy
stem and couldn’t convince people, but my ideas brought results (though long after I had left). The
students of that institutions brought ranks in merits and the required momentum was instituted. I left silently.Most institutions have politics and pressure groups. There are different issues - whether to give more stress to thefundamentals for which the institution has been built or to give stress on procedural aspects. There are manyinstitutions which have died out (or their spirit has died out), but there are hardly any person taking lessons from this.New Institutions are growing. Old ones are decaying. There is no one to give the required momentum to the oldinstitutions. The new ones fail to address to the masses. They focus on their BEP analysis a
nd don’t come down to the
common students. Old institutions have been built on the pillers of benefits for the masses and therefore inspite of allthe decays they are facing, they continue to survive. They continue to remain popular among masses.I am talking about an institution that was built by those who wanted to spread education among the masses and for thatthey took one rupee from each household, added their toil and perspiration to that money and went ahead to builtgreat (once upon a time) institutions. As the times passed, the founders were replaced by next generations of persons,
who didn’t have the same spirit and commitments. Even next generations lacked the commitment to fundamentals and
thus the spirit withered away slowly.Any principal could trust him and could depend on him. Yes this person was one of the pillers of this college. If the workwould be incomplete, he would come even on Sunday and would stay late evening to ensure that the work iscompleted. He would not have to be told about the work. He took his initiatives to ensure that the work is complete.