Child brides. Severely impoverished children of the Sabar tribe. Students frozen by the fear of exams. Children struggling minus a Maths teacher… These are children who generally slip between the cracks in a world where the privileged garner the attention. ‘Generally’, because hope does shine through from the most unexpected sources…
Introducing you, dear reader, to the ScooNews Teacher Warriors 2018. Ordinary men and women who have accomplished the extraordinary. They did not set out to change the world, become saviours, power a movement. But unwittingly they have done just that, one mighty challenge, one dogged endeavour at a time… Their driving inspiration? That quality education is the key to social transformation and the fundamental right of every child - not just every advantaged child.
Starting off on the back foot needn’t translate as being also-rans for the rest of their life. As Teacher Warrior Nirmala Tandon (IIMPACT) vouches, “Freed from the shackles of illiteracy, they should be able to compete with their privileged peers on par, and excel in areas they choose, to attain a quality of life far better than their parents. They should become good honest human beings, responsible citizens of our great country and also contribute to society in whichever way they can.”
It is difficult to remain unmoved by the tales of these unstoppable educators. It is impossible to miss their pride and sense of fulfilment in their mission. “When you see the transformation occur in a child coming from the underprivileged section of the society working as a child labour, indulging in the act of begging, drug exposure and how through education you can change him/her to a self-sustained person who then becomes capable of taking his and family's responsibility in a better way… there is a deep sense of inner satisfaction,” vouches Teacher Warrior Mukti Gupta (Help Us Help Them). …Inner satisfaction that does not come with that shot of Botox, that superior job, that bigger car. Perhaps it is time to take a leaf out of Teacher Warrior Aditya Natraj’s book when he says, “I see no challenge. I only see joy in this opportunity to serve.”
We will share the individual Teacher Warriors 2018 awardees' work and profile in a 3 part article starting tomorrow.
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