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Ladders of learning

E.K. SRIVATSAN
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How a teacher can transform one’s life and thinking…

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

I was travelling to Madurai by train on personal work. A rather inelegantly dressed girl sat beside me and next to her was her mother. The girl had bright eyes which were in stark contrast to her attire. I asked her what she was doing and where she lived. She said that she was a resident of a village far away from Madurai, and that her father ran a small provision store in her village. She had three siblings and all of them were girls. She was in Std IV.

I asked her about her daily routine, to which she replied that she woke up to the tunes of Suprabhadham , did yoga without fail each day, had a healthy breakfast consisting of whole grains, and was meticulous in studies. She wished to become a doctor and treat the people of her village. She spoke English well and wanted her sisters to study well.

I was stunned! How could a girl living in a village live such a life and have high ideals? When I asked her if her parents had taught her all that, she shook her head indicating they had no role whatsoever. She said it was her teacher. Her teacher was God to her, her hero and guide even in matters outside the realm of school subjects.

I always knew the importance of teachers, but never realised that they could ‘transform lives’. I had always attributed that to the family. This was an eye-opener. Teachers are not mere ladders who support the students to move towards better standards of living, but better standards of thinking as well.

E.K. SRIVATSAN

26, Chartered Accountant

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