President’s Message to Zimbabwean Students on Their Independence Day

You are your own excuse.

During the time of our fathers, there was no freedom, there was no easy access to education, and every single thing that they did was according to the wishes of the colonialists. If you are to ask any senior citizen who was in his youth before independence, they will share the same story, a story of having the talent but not allowed to express it, a story of having a business idea but not being allowed to be an entrepreneur. The difficult times in which they lived in were unamiable to all of us sitting in this room.

This is the one thing Zimbabwe and India have in common, the life before our independence from the British was very much similar. To our Fathers, if you were to ask why they did not get the good university education, or why they did not start a good business, or anything related to why they did not put their youth to best use, their excuse is very much justified. Today I am very much delighted to stand in a room full of independent Zimbabweans, and independent Indians, a room filled with a youth born in with all the freedom the world has to offer, the freedom our fathers fought to get. I stand to tell you one very simple reminder today and that is:
We have no more excuses!

As long as you are born free, colonisation is not an excuse anymore, shortage of schools is not an excuse anymore, fear of wars is not an excuse anymore, but the only excuse that remains is you and I. In simple words what I am trying to tell you today is that we are our own excuses, we don’t have the colonizers to blame like our fathers did. It amazes me so much that even though they had someone to blame, they still worked hard and got us the freedom we have to today, it could be Nelson Mandela, or Mahatma Gandhi or Robert Mugabe they all did their part to make sure that we do not have excuses.

This century has proven to be far more frightening for the youth than the times of colonization because in this century, failure is now in your left hand, in the same way, success is in your other hand. Every single thing that happens in your life is a matter of choices that you are making and that is the true meaning of independence. This meaning can be brought out in its most pure manner, the moment you stand as a youth of Zimbabwe, and you remove every small excuse life tries to give, and you work hard to secure your future, not just yours but the future of the entire nation.

The entire nation may seem to be very big, but allow me to break it down for you before I conclude, imagine this, if every student sitting in this room, studies hard without any excuse, with his or her mother and father in mind, with a desire to develop the family you left in Africa, in the end, you will end up with a developed country. Because it starts with a small family development that leads to the larger national development, so the growth of your nation depends on you more than your government.

You are one of the best English speaking nations, you have a literacy rate of 90%. With this, I am delighted to remind you that the resources your nation needs are not diamonds or gold, but they need you. You are the best resource as long as long you give no excuses.

To all the Zimbabwean here, Happy Independence Day.


Dr. Devanshu J Patel

Dr.Devanshu Patel, a dynamic, visionary and proactive leader, is President of Parul University. His unflinching commitment to the cause of education and whose continuous efforts for spreading the cause of education not only in Gujarat but also in different states of India and also in 49 different countries have resulted in more than 25,000 students pursuing their under graduate, post graduate and doctoral degree programmes in 32 academic institutions offering more than 150 degree programmes.

Dr.Devanshu Patel, after successful completion of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine (Pharmacology) from the world renowned Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, decided to concentrate his efforts in establishing state-of-the-art educational institutions offering technical professional and medical courses in the State of Gujarat as he felt there was no dearth of talented individuals in Gujarat and such talented individuals, if provided a quality education and skill building programmes, could be transformed into dynamic leaders and thinkers of 21st century.

From 2008 to 2013, prior to establishment of Parul University, was instrumental in starting Parul Institute of Management & Research (2008), Parul Institute of Physiotherapy (2009), Ahmedabad Physiotherapy College (2009), Parul Institute of Business Administration (2010), Parul Institute of Technology (2010), Parul Institute of Architecture & Research (2012), Parul Institute of Computer Application (2013), which were affiliated to Gujarat University, Gujarat Technological University, Saurashtra University and Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University respectively. Moreover, he also took up the responsibility of starting of post graduate courses in these institutions.

He also played pivotal role in establishment of Parul University under an Act of State Legislature viz., Gujarat Private Universities Act, 2009 and Gujarat Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 2015 which led to incorporation of 14 institutions of engineering & technology, management, pharmacy, nursing, homoeopathy, physiotherapy, architecture and computer applications into Parul University. Being a Doctor himself, his dream of establishing a medical college came true when Medical Council of India accorded its approval to Parul University to establish Parul Institute of Medical Sciences & Research offering Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with an intake capacity of 150 seats. Since Parul University is located in rural area of Vadodara District, he saw the need for starting a Hospital which would provide medical facilties and treatment to underprivileged people in a surrounding area at competitive charges. This led to starting of Parul Sevashram Hospital, a 400 bedded multispecialty hospital. At present, owing to dedicated and concentrated efforts, have established a 300 bedded Parul Ayurveda Hospital offering Ayurved treatment and Jawaharlal Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College Hospital offering Ayurved and Homoeopathy treatment to needy and downtrodden respectively.

In order to prepare the students can meet challenges of the professional world effectively, he set up a Career Development Cell in the University under which a highly qualified team of 55 teachers train students of the University for Competitive Examinations, English Language Proficiency, Entrance Examinations for admission to prestigious institutions such as CAT/GRE/GMAT/IELTS/GATE etc…, Foreign Languages i.e. French and German.

He believes that the world today is more in need of job creators and not job givers. Hence, he brought together a team of Mentors under Entrepreneurship Development Cell of the University who could guide students towards becoming Entrepreneurs. Owing to continuous guidance of experienced faculties at Entrepreneurship Development Cell and constant support from Dr.Devanshu Patel, students have initiated and successfully implemented their innovative ideas into a functioning Start Ups.

He has been lauded for his efforts and support in encouraging researchers from the University to take up, publish and promote their research work through starting of Research & Development Cell at Parul University. Faculty members, with the support from Research & Development Cell, have filed 141 patent applications during the last three years. Owing to encouragement and guidance received from Research & Development Cell, the engineering and technology and pharmacy institutions have succeeded in obtaining several Minor Research Projects from the Government Funding Agencies such as GUJCOST.

Taking the cause of education abroad, he has also developed close ties and signed an MOU with international universities of repute such as Poznan University of Technology, Poland; Kansas State University, USA; Lambton College, Canada; University of Transport Technology, Vietnam; Humber College, Canada; University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany; Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland; University of Applied Sciences, Aschaffenburg, Germany etc…Till date, more than 500 students from Parul University and international students from these Universities have participated in International Student Exchange Programme. Further, the University has also received a monetary grant from European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through which regular International Student/ Faculty Exchange Programme is conducted.

One Response

  1. The speech is inspiring and full of words of wisdom. It is very true we are our excuses and if not dealt with such , I see us becoming our very own colonists , dragging and holding back the development of our families and nation at Large.

    And it’s not too late to change that and help bring substantial support to our development as a whole.

    I believe the young people are the source of Innovation, creative and information, placed in the right hands ,we will see unimaginable growths in our development.

    And I see already just that with the students placed under the care of Parul University spearhead by it’s visionary leader Dr Devanshu Patel as it’s president.

    The world needs change ,it’s needs help and our support as future leaders of tomorrow and think of leaving a better world than we found it for the next generation to come.

    Change is constant and the possibilities are endless.Be the change that the world awaits!

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