India Celebrates Teachers’ Day

DELHI – For a great many people around the world, the most influential person in their lives has been a teacher. India celebrates Teachers’ Day every September 5th and has done so since its commencement in 1962.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan visiting President John F. Kennedy
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan visiting President John F. Kennedy

Scholar, philosopher, and teacher, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, suggested that the country establish the annual event. Dr. Radhakrishnan had heard that a move might be afoot to create a holiday commemorating his birthday which was, of course, September 5, 1888. That celebration would have memorialized his contributions to “the modern India” of which he became its first Vice President (1952-1962) and its second President (1962-1967). He felt that it was far more necessary and appropriate to celebrate to contributions of “lakhs of unknown teacher across the country.”

Celebrations take place in schools all around India. Students typically bring special gifts to their teachers on September 5th which might include greeting cards expressing appreciation, teaching supplies, and even chocolates and flowers.

In some schools, students from the senior grade levels dress up as teachers for the day and assume the role of teacher for younger students in the primary grades. Others organize banquets and reunions. Many graduates return to honor and encourage their former teachers.

National awards are bestowed upon selected teachers who have “shown innovation in their work and [have] added value to their school and their students.”

The annual celebration is a reminder of Dr. Radhakrishnan’s dream that the best minds in the country become teachers fulfilling one of the most important roles in shaping a nation.

We offer our respect and honor to teachers across India and remind readers that World Teachers’ Day is scheduled for October 5th.


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Image Source:

  • Abbie Rowe [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons