A lot of us keep going back to when we were young and recall how our teachers were role models, and have played a very important role in what we are today.
About a fortnight back, we were driving from Gurgaon to Hyderabad, passing through a village by the name of Partapur that falls on the route from Narsinghpur to Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh. We have made it a practice or habit to stop at the tea shop in Partapur by the name, Surya Tea Stall that has served us consistently outstanding snacks and tea. Also, a tea shop in a village or a small town is usually the place where you can chat with the village folks and get valuable feedback on a number of items.
In the past whenever we stopped at the Surya Tea Stall, we have met the young boy who is studying in college in Narsinghpur or his brother studying in Bhopal or their uncle. The boys come home during the weekends and are there at the shop for a couple of hours but the uncle is the one who mostly takes care.
This time around we met the owner of the tea stall and the boys’ father, with whom we started talking about ShikshaDaan, status of education and specifically girl child education in Partapur and its neighbourhood, besides the various central and state government social schemes. This man teaches Hindi at the local school. He knew almost every single social scheme and also has taken it upon himself to impress upon parents to get their girl children educated. He knew Aadhar card’s linkages and benefits, PM’s Jan Dhan Yojana and a host of MP state government social schemes that he listed. He was not happy with the non-construction of toilets in the village and held the village sarpanch responsible for this lag.
From our side we spoke about ShikshaDaan, buddy4study and the range and quantum of scholarships available in India for the student community.
The conversation with the teacher, and his engagement and involvement with the upliftment of his village proved again that a teacher can make a huge difference. Even now. Even more so, now.