Letter from Dinakar Desai
In the 1970, Kamat tried to establish an institute of forestry in his native North Kanara District. Kamat believed that just like agriculture, the forests of India were an incredible source of employment for the uneducated Indians as forests are a renewable natural resource. Below is the letter he received from Dinakar Desai, the then elected representative of the district.
Dear Dr. Kamat,
I was glad to receive your letter dated 7th September 1970.
I fully agree with you that the students should get education which will give them a skill. With this end in view, I introduced typing in our High School at Ankola some years ago. But no student took typing. Hence I had to abolish this subject. A considerable amount was spent on purchasing typewriters.
Similarly, tailoring was introduced in our High School at Ankola. A well-qualified teacher, who had passed the Tailoring Masters Examination in First Class, was employed. The idea was that boys should take tailoring as a profession. The boys were promised that our Trust would give each by a sewing machine free of cost after passing the examination in tailoring. A tailor earns very well in these days. But unfortunately nobody took tailoring, and we had to abolish this subject.
I may also tell you that I do not get compositors in our Printing Press at Ankola. Hence the Press cannot be expanded.
All this shows our boys are lazy and want only light work. They want to become clerks or teachers. They do not want to work hard to attain a skill which can give them good earnings.
I fully appreciate your idea that a forest polytechnic should be started in our District. I do not know how far we shall succeed in getting adequate number of students. However, I request you to send me a detailed scheme for starting this polytechnic. I shall discuss this scheme with the State Government. Our trust is ready to establish this institute, if Government is prepared to give adequate grants.
I read your book, giving the impressions of your American tour. I enjoyed the book. My hearty congratulations.
With kind regards,
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