Unseen Passage: A Purpose in Life

A noble purpose gives meaning to one’s own life and is of benefit to others. I realised this while researching on and writing about the life of Jamshedji Tata. What gave one man living in a colonised country the vision to advance it in the community of nations? He not only gave India the power to steel and hydroelectric energy, but also an institution of research.

He sent an educationist to Europe and the United States to report on what should be the best model for India. The John Hopkins University in Baltimore was recommended as the model. But Jamshedji Tata made it a point to see that his name was not associated with the university. After his death, his dream came true with the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. It was to be fountain head of science in the decades to come.

There are others too whose purpose in life has made a difference to society. Mother Teresa had a comfortable life at Loretto Convent, Kolkata. On a train journey to Darjeeling, she felt her ‘calling’ and wanted to give up her comfortable life in the convent and serve the poor and the needy.

After that, she took a three month nursing course and returned to Kolkata. She devoted her time to the sick and the homeless. Touched by her sacrifice, some of her students joined her and work began. Not everyone has such a strong calling. When I asked her how one could be sure of one’s calling, she replied, “Deep down in our hearts we know exactly what our calling is, if we are sincere.’’ One’s purpose is shaped over a period of time, but every noble purpose is based on a feeling for the suffering of others and our desire for alleviating that condition.

Q. 1 On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the questions that follow:

  1. Bring out the unique character traits of Jamshedji Tata?
  2. Why did he send an educationist to Europe and the USA?
  3. Mention two facts about Indian Institute of Science.
  4. How did Mother Teresa start working for the poverty stricken people?
  5. What was the first step Mother Teresa took?
  6. How can we find our calling?
  7. Is it possible to find one’s calling within a short period? Why/Why not?
  8. Find the word in Para 4 which means the same as ‘lessening’.

Answer

  1. He gave India not only the power to steel & hydroelectric energy, but also an institution of research.
  2. An educationist was sent to Europe to report on what should be the best model of a research institute for India.
  3. Two facts about Indian Institute of Science:
    1. The John Hopkins University in Baltimore was recommended as the model.
    2. It was to be the fountainhead of science.
  4. She devoted her time to the sick and the homeless people.
  5. She took a three month nursing course and returned to Kolkata.
  6. If we are sincere, deep down in our hearts we know exactly what our calling is.
  7. Yes, it is possible to find one’s calling within a short period of time, if one is sincere about it.
  8. Alleviating.

Q. 2 Answer the following questions:

  1. Who gave India the power of steel and hydroelectric energy
  2. _____________ had a comfortable life at Loretto convent, Kolkata.
  3. Mother Teresa felt her ‘calling’ when she was travelling by train to _____________ .
  4. Where did Jamshedji send his educationist to report?
  5. Indian Institute of Science does not bear the title of whom?
    1. Ambani
    2. Tata
    3. Birla
    4. Reliance
  6. Who bought Green Revolution to India?
    1. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
    2. Vinoba Bhave
    3. Dr. Radhakrishnan
    4. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan
  7. Where is Indian Institute of Science situated?
    1. Hyderabad
    2. Pune
    3. Delhi
    4. Bengaluru
  8. Name the Indian city where Mother Teresa settled and served the poor?
  9. Delhi
  10. Chennai
  11. Mumbai
  12. Kolkata

Answers

  1. Jamshedji Tata gave India the power of steel and hydroelectric energy.
  2. Mother Teresa
  3. Darjeeling
  4. Jamshedji sent his educationist to Europe and the United States.
  5. Tata
  6. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan
  7. Bengaluru
  8. Kolkata

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