A teacher, A.T. Abdul Malik, has been swimming across a river to reach his school daily

A.T. Abdul Malik, mathematics teacher at AMLP School, Padinjattumuri, near here, will not swim anymore to reach his school.

A mental health doctor from England has donated him a fibreglass boat after reading the curious story about his daily adventure published by the media on last Teachers’ Day.

Reading the story of Mr. Malik, who has been swimming across the Kadalundipuzha to reach his school every day for the past 20 years, Manzoor Alam from Streetly, England, set out on a journey with the determination to meet him and end his woes forever.

“On learning about his plight, I decided that he should not be swimming any more to reach his school,” Dr. Alam told The Hindu.

The fibreglass boat Dr. Alam bought from a person at Tanur was delivered to Mr. Malik at Perumbalam in Anakkayam panchayat on Monday. Mr. Malik will operate the boat with the help of a pulley and rope tied to the anchorage on both shores of the river.

“This will give him advantage to operate the boat from both shores,” said Dr. Alam.

Khajah Shihabuddin, lecturer at Government Polytechnic College, Tirurangadi, has offered technical support to fix the pulley and rope system.

Dr. Alam, however, does not want to wait until the pulley and rope system is operational.

“I’m returning to England tomorrow (Tuesday). I’m happy I could do something to alleviate the woes of a man in need,” he said.

Dr. Alam, an exponent of anti-tobacco and eat-less-salt campaigns, also visited the Herbal Garden of Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala.

“I am in search of an antidote for tobacco. Usually doctors prescribe a substitute for tobacco to those wishing to quit smoking. It has its own problems. What we really need is an antidote,” he said.

Dr. Alam said that consumption of more salt than needed was becoming a problem for the people of south India. “Eating more salt will lead to high blood pressure, kidney diseases, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes and stomach cancer,” he said.