A Homage To Pandit Janki Nath Kachroo
Principal, National School,
By MK Dhar
Pandit Janki Nath Kachroo, former
Karan Nagar, Srinagar,
Kashmir, left for heavenly abode in September
2006. Shri Kachroo was a person with vast
experience who had mastered the art of teaching.
On one hand he was an expert in teaching of
English language and on the other hand he
was excellent in teaching of Mathematics and
Science. He was among the pioneers of school
B'casts programmes from Radio Kashmir in the
Valley. A J&K State awardee for best teacher he
had carved out a special niche for himself in
the educational field of the Valley.
I knew him as a teacher, as a colleague and as a
principal. In all the three capacities he had
his own specific characteristics. He was an
excellent teacher, an amiable colleague and a
When I joined the school as a student in
Class-VII, he used to teach the 9th and 10th
classes. He was known for his methodic and
innovative teaching in Science and English
When I reached 10th Class, he was assigned the
teaching of English to our class, besides he was
our form teacher. As a class teacher he believed
in involving students in various activities. We
were given specific responsibilities in order to
develop our specific capacities. Today, when I
look on those days I am convinced that Shri
Kachroo tried to develop in us critical
attitude, scientific temper and a sense of
While teaching English language he would use
structural approach to bring home to us certain
grammatical structures and forms. During those
days translation method was in use and
structural approach had not developed much.
However due to his personal reasons he had to
proceed on long leave and was away from the
Valley. This put an end to our interaction with
him as a student and the teacher. But during
that short period I could realize that he
believed "in drawing out what is already in a
method of teaching was scientific,
innovative and that he followed the maxim" from
known to unknown".
I joined the school again in 1962 as a teacher.
This time Sh Kachroo was my senior colleague. He
at once took me into his arms and assured me of
his guidance and cooperation. This provided me
with an opportunity to work with him closely. I
found that has academic activities were focused
on promoting and introducing innovations. He
believed in proper planning and always advised
me to make proper plans before going to teach in
the classes. He believed in free and frank
interaction with the students. Although he bore
a stern face yet he was friendly to them.
In 1969 he was promoted to the post of
headmaster. This was the beginning of
modernization for the School. English medium
sections were added. KG classes were started.
The academic atmosphere of the school was given
a new and fresh direction.
In 1972 he became principal on the retirement of
Sh DN Raina, the then Principal. Under the agile
leadership of Sh JN Kachroo, the school started
a number of projects in order to improve the
academic environment of the school. An
institutional plan was framed which defined in
concrete terms the goals that the school had to
achieve in the coming decade.
From here onwards the students of school got
sufficient opportunities in exhibit their talent
in co-curricular and extracurricular fields.
Debate, Symposia, musical programmes, games,
races, literacy competitions became integral
part of the school curriculum.
Sh Kachroo had a vision and as the leader he
tried to fulfil that vision. In this he was able
to carry the staff with him. He got full support
from the members of the staff in implementing
all the new and innovative measures.
From 1982 to 1986 the school passed through a
difficult and trying period. The school building
was gutted in a devastating fire in October
1982. Thereafter started a period of tough
struggle against odds. His able handling of the
situation and negotiations with various agencies
enabled the management to acquire the building
and consequent reconstruction. The school got a
new lease of life.
In 1986, Sh Kachroo retired from the services of
the school. The management made a special
mention in appreciation of his dedicated and
commendable services of the school :
"It gives the members of the managing committee
of National School, Srinagar, immense pleasure
to place on its record the appreciation for the
dedicated, commendable and meritorious services
rendered to the school by Sh JN Kachroo
throughout his devoted and dedicated service of
40 years. His contribution to the school
especially during the trying period from October
1982 deserves a special mention. His guidance
and leadership as Principal of the school gave
the institution a place of pride in the
educational map of the state".
Sh Kachroo was associated with a number of
educational activities of the Valley. He was a
resource person in teaching of English and
participated in a number of workshops conducted
Extension Services Department of College
of Education, Srinagar.
He was an excellent broadcaster and was
associated with school B'cast programmes of
Radio Kashmir. He was secretary, Kashmir Aided
Educational Association for a number of years.
He was a scholarly person who believed that to
be successful in life one has to be a human
being. He had a keen sense of observation and
analysis. He always advised us to do things
creatively and differently in order to achieve
May God grant peace to his departed soul!
*(The author was formerly Principal, National