Today is Teachers’ Day in India – in honour of Dr S Radhakrishnan. In the small primary school that my mother volunteers, the children come from poor* families, and are often ill behaved. While most of the other teachers resort to beating the children into being quiet, she doesn’t believe in beating the kids. As a result, managing them, is a nightmare for my mother. Along with the politics of the management and back-biting from other teachers, the kids were at least partially responsible for my mother falling sick this past week.
After a prolonged absence from work, when she went back to school, the children greeted her with flowers and cards. One little present stood out. The most mischievous child had made a box out of paper. Coloured with crayons, decorated with ‘chamki‘ **, complete with a ‘ribbon’ – it was simple and charming.
When I was in school, one of my teacher’s said, “Every person I meet, is a teacher to me…”
Here’s wishing all my teachers, a happy Teachers’ Day!
*poor – the term poor here refers not merely to the financial status of the students. Most of the families earn a decent income. They live in bad localities, and their behaviour is often unruly.
** chamki – sequins