Let me tell you a story about two great teachers of my village, who used to teach with passion, loved the students like their own children, did much more than only teach in the classroom, and who were both academic and emotional support to their students.
The late Gh Muhammad Maatoo (alias Maatoo sahab) and Ghulam Ahmad Dar (alias Dar sahab), two great souls of my village, served society for several decades and changed numerous lives in their surroundings. They did not tire of teaching till the last day of their services and even after retirement they continued to spread the light of education in the neighbourhood. Many teachers teach, but only a small number of them can influence their students’ lives. The above mentioned great personalities had such power to touch the hearts of their students. They regarded teaching as a vocation, not just a means of earning livelihood. They worked harder than anyone to make students better human beings through teaching as well as other activities.
Late Maatoo sahab and Dar sahab themselves followed the principles that they taught to their students. They set examples and we as students learnt the lessons of life from them. We learnt from them how to be considerate to others, how to stand by and support needy students. It was these two great souls who in the 90s imparted knowledge to students from economically poor backgrounds and who were the reason why parents sent their wards to the government-run schools.
Once when I met Maatoo sahab, he said with tears in his eyes, “I am so proud of you, my boy. When I see my students doing well in life, my heart leaps in happiness and pride.” That was how much they loved their students.
We must pay respect to the teachers who worked hard to instill values and humanity into us. Through showing respect to teachers, we can also inspire others to take up this noble profession and work for society. We, the students of these two great souls, can promise that we will continue to spread the message of humanity which they taught us.
—The writer is a research scholar at BGSB University, Rajouri. [email protected]