Teachers’ Day is celebrated on September 5 every year. In Hindi, a teacher is called “guru”. “Gu” means darkness and “ru” means light. So a teacher is one who leads you to light from darkness.

The “Guru-shishya” relationship is like that between the parents and their children.

Like a father who loves his sons and daughters, the teacher should love his pupils.

Accordingly a great responsibility rests on the teacher.

To a great extent the future of students depends on their teacher.

It is the teacher who creates inclination and avidity among the students and provides them an incentive for performing good deeds.

“In every religion the teacher is put at a high pedestal. So is it in Islam.

It gives much importance to them. The Prophet Muhammad said: “I have been sent as a teacher.”

In the words of Sant Kabir, “If the entire land surface of the world were turned into paper, all the seas turned into ink, and all the woods into pens, they would not suffice to describe the greatness of a true guru.”

It is unfortunate that today this noble profession has lost its glory.

Teachers have almost lost their honour and dignity by involving themselves in unholy and obnoxious activities. People are fast losing faith in “Guru-shishya” relationship.

Who can forget the recent incident of a 16-year-old girl who was raped by the Principal and a colleague of his at a government school in Delhi.

Reports about such incidents have become a permanent feature in our daily newspapers.

Also quite common are cases of inhuman punishment meted out to children.

According to a newspaper report, Brijesh Prajapati, a Class VI student at Kakraiya Primary School in Farrukhabad, UP, was found chatting in the class.

It incensed his teacher so much that he beat him to death.

Arpit Kavadia, a Class XII student in Udaipur, died after his teacher hit him repeatedly.

Why? Because Arpit’s legs were dangling outside his school desk. This had offended the teacher.

Prasad Naskar, a Class VII student of a higher secondary school in Baruipur, was brutally beaten by his headmaster for not turning up in school uniform. The headmaster left the boy unconscious.

It is time teachers cultivated good qualities and set themselves as true gurus; only then will the celebration of Teachers’ Day be meaningful and appropriate.

Obaidur Rahman Nadwi,

Lecturer, Nadwa College, P.B. 93, Tagore Marg, Lucknow.

“Hello, BSNL….”

I offer my sincere thanks to Reader’s Mail for publishing my letter, “Hello, BSNL….” in these columns (June 11).

It was a complaint against non-refund of my security deposit in respect of Demand Note No. NTC/SKT/GNL/68/2 & Receipt No. XYZ0033118, both dated 17-11-2003, for a landline telephone connection with STD facility by S.D.E. (Phones), Anpara, Sonebhadra, falling under Mirzapur Telecom District of U.P. (East).

I have received the long awaited refund of my security deposit now on August 24 – that is, within two and a half months of the publication of my complaint but after around four years of submitting my application to the BSNL authorities.

Anyway, I should thank BSNL also. But I have a suggestion for BSNL.

Why does BSNL not start sending a copy of the Advice Note to the applicant also? Since the Advice Note, which follows the Demand Note after due official processing, is an instruction to the local telephone exchange/office for installing the applied-for phone, the present practice of the telecom district office forwarding the Advice Note only to the concerned local exchange/office fails to alert the waiting applicant.

And this is taken advantage of by corrupt local officials/linesmen by suppressing the information. Perhaps this is what happened in my case.

The local official/linesman may have informed the telecom district office that the applicant did not want the phone now.

With proper checks and balances in place, such mischief can very well be nipped in the bud.

Hopefully due punishment has been meted out to the erring local officials in my case for causing me avoidable mental agony apart from tarnishing the image of BSNL.

Ramesh Kumar Singh,

C-68, Khadia Colony (N.C.L.), P.O. Shaktinagar, District Sonebhadra (U.P.) – 231 222.

NDMC listening?

There are two major garbage collection points in the vicinity of my house.

Every morning on my way to office I find two NDMC trucks loading the garbage from these points.

The volume of garbage is considerably high because of their proximity to Sarojini Nagar market and Pilanji village. These need to be cleared twice a day, even on holidays.

I am shocked to see the NDMC staff loading the garbage working without any protective clothing such as gloves. Most of them do not even have proper chappals or shoes.

This can be dangerous as the waste includes hazardous and unsafe substances.

I wonder whether the NDMC provides its staff any protective equipment for such jobs.All the civic bodies such as NDMC, MCD in Delhi or elsewhere in the country should give top priority to protective measures for municipal workers who work in all kinds of hazardous situations.

It should not be done as a formality.

The authorities should ensure that the workers follow these safety measures while on duty.

They should also be provided with proper medical check-up periodically.

Medepalli Seshu,

X-240, Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi -- 110 023.

In a jam

New Delhi railway station is being modernised at present in view of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games that the historic city of Delhi will be hosting in 2010. Refurbishment exercises thus being undertaken are certainly going to boost the image of the capital city.

However, one thing that has not received the attention of the authorities concerned is the general apathy towards the existing chaotic scenario in the vicinity of the station, especially on the Paharganj side.

Traffic jams at any given point of time during the day plus congestion arising out of non-stop passenger movement along the countless food joints dotting the main thoroughfare outside make things difficult for one and all.

The inadequate road width just outside the station has always been a major stumbling block for traffic movement.

It will be worthwhile to pay attention to improving the traffic flow around the station along with improvement of the railway station itself.

Ashwini Kumar Lal,

D-819, Mandir Marg, New Delhi – 110 001.