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Dr Jagdish Gandhi

Dr Jagdish Gandhi, founder, City Montessori School, passes away at 87

January 22, 2024

The educational community grieves the loss of Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, the pioneering founder of City Montessori School (CMS), who peacefully died at the age of 87 after a resilient 25-day hospital battle.

Dr. Gandhi’s educational odyssey commenced in 1959, as a 23-year-old commerce postgraduate at Lucknow University, when he founded a primary school with a meagre Rs. 300 and five students. Over the next 58 years, this modest venture burgeoned into the world’s largest single-city K-12 school, CMS, with 55,400 students across 18 Lucknow campuses, officially recognised by the Guinness World Records.

Beyond its colossal size, CMS gained global distinction for its co-educational model and consistent academic excellence in Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) exams. Dr. Gandhi’s educational vision extended beyond conventional boundaries, with CMS annually hosting 28 co-curricular events of global significance. Ranging from computing and robotics competitions to Olympiads in mathematics, geography, biotechnology, English literature, history, and various sports, these events embodied Dr. Gandhi’s belief in education’s broader impact. 

Central to CMS’s annual calendar was the International Conference of Chief Justices of the World, inaugurated in 2001. This unique forum brought together legal luminaries from 125 countries, fostering collaboration towards creating a safer world for 2 billion children globally.

Dr. Gandhi was a great believer in education in its broadest sense. Inspired by the ancient Indian philosophy of vasudhaiv kutumbakam — ‘the world is my family’ — and by a Unesco statement that “wars begin in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men where the defences of peace must be constructed”, every year the school hosts these international events to teach children from around the world to live in peace and harmony.

Dr. Jagdish Gandhi’s unwavering commitment to global peace through education earned him accolades such as the Yash Bharati Award (2014), the Gusi Peace Prize (2011), and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama (2010). In 2002, CMS received the prestigious UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, marking it as the sole school globally to achieve this recognition.

Despite international acclaim, Dr. Gandhi maintained a humble life, residing in the same rented room where his educational journey began. He directed CMS surpluses towards nurturing and developing children, firmly believing in their potential to shape a better world.

In 2017, recognising his extraordinary contributions, the Board of Directors and Editors of EducationWorld honored Dr. Jagdish Gandhi with the Outstanding Achievement in Education Leadership Award, inducting him into the EducationWorld Hall of Fame of Indian Education.

To pay their final respects, well-wishers are invited to the auditorium hall of the CMS Gomti Nagar Extension campus on January 23 from 2 to 5 pm. Dr. Jagdish Gandhi’s legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched and the education conglomerate he built; a true beacon of enlightenment and peace.

Also read:

Outstanding Achievement in Education Leadership Award 2017- Dr. Jagadish Gandhi

CMS sets Guinness World Record for having over 50k students

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