Teachers lend a helping hand to students, parents

Government school teachers have pitched in to donate essentials and groceries at a time when parents are unable to make a living and provide food for their children.

For K. Saraswathi, a resident of M.G.R. Nagar, ties with her children’s school teachers remained strong even after they graduated from there. Her three children, two of whom are pursuing engineering, their youngest in class 12, and her brother’s children studied at Edamalaipatti Pudur Panchayat Union Elementary School. “The teachers are the biggest blessings in our children’s lives,” she says.

Both Ms. Saraswathi and her husband are daily wage labourers and were unable to purchase essentials due to lack of work. “For the first few days of the lockdown, we managed with whatever we had. We had gruel for many days,” she says.

Pushpalatha Balaji, vice-principal of the school, came to know about their situation and immediately raised funds to purchase essentials for them and 20 other families in their locality. “There are various well-wishers and Good Samaritans. I connect with them on Facebook and through them, get help for those who need it.”

Ms. Balaji has been able to provide nearly 100 bags of rice, salt, oil and other necessary items for the families of her students and former students. “I am doing everything I can. As their teacher, my job does not end with them stepping out of my school. I take full responsibility until they become adults,” she says proudly.

In Poovalur, Satheeshkumar, science teacher at the Government Higher Secondary School, used his one month’s salary to purchase groceries for 46 families. “Most of my students’ families are unable to afford one square meal a day. Many were eating rice with water and salt when I enquired,” he said.

After funds from his salary ran out and requests continued to pour in from other villagers, Mr. Satheeshkumar too connected with some friends on Facebook. With the financial assistance from his friends, he purchased rice, oil, dal, salt, sugar, among other essentials, for at least 126 families. He makes it a point to purchase groceries at small shops inside the village so that the shopkeeper also earns some money for the day.

“The problem is that most of my students came to school only for the noon meal. Now that it has been stopped, many are suffering,” he says. He suggests that like the Amma Canteens, school kitchens too must be kept open for the benefit of students and their families during this difficult time.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:50:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/help/article31464640.ece

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