Sunday, 6 September, 2009

Saluting only the dedicated ones

One more Teachers’ Day went by, praising the entire teaching community. I could not bring myself to blindly eulogize all teachers. I remember many of my teachers fondly. But there’s an equal (or more) number of teachers I could never appreciate - from the fourth standard Malayalam Miss who always ground her teeth in uncontrollable anger to a professor who declared that if the sun rose for 30 days a month, he would get salary, implying he was not obliged to teach us. I remember with disgust and contempt. There are a few, who never taught me or rather I was not lucky to be taught by them. The talk about their teaching capabilities as well as charisma left me longing to become their student.

Apart from my personal experiences, I’ve met some teachers who work against all odds to change the lives of the students. The teachers at the tribal school near Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka are a dedicated bunch and do their best in the challenging environment. During our 10-day trip as the Great Driving Challenge finalists, we dropped in to the school hearing a chorus prayer by the kids. It was a pre-lunch prayer. Though the teachers were also about to start lunch, they were happy to oblige our curiosity.

Many kids find the school attractive because of the mid-day meals and the attendance has drastically improved after the programme has been introduced. So is the performance of the kids. Even with the limited facilities, the teachers appeared enthusiastic and committed. We hope their hard work would give the kids a better future. There must be many similar establishments and dedicated teachers across our country. A salute to all of them.

Another two teachers I personally know for more than a year are Mamta and Rohini, teachers at Akanksha, an NGO involved in teaching less privileged kids.

I’ve witnessed their dedication and daily struggle to get the 35-odd kids equipped for a bright tomorrow. And they are there by choice. Another salute to all the teachers like Mamta and Rohini.

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