Dr Rajesh Rudhra writes open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding plight of teachers
He is president of Association of Private Unaided Schools (CBSE/ICSE) Punjab
Ludhiana: Association of Private Unaided Schools (CBSE/ICSE) Punjab president Dr Rajesh Rudhra has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the plight of teachers who are Gods of learning is pathetic.
His letter itself is self-explanatory. The letter reads as under:
“History is the witness that civilization, culture and knowledge of any country depends on the scholars who impart education. The future of the country depends on those who educate and nurture the children. The teachers in India who are scholars in real sense have the reputation of being the wisest in the world since the time immemorial. Indians have always been proud of their wisdom and knowledge since ages. It is time to take cognizance of the pathetic plight of the teachers at present in our country before it gets too late.
Time to time tyrants have committed atrocities on teachers of this nation and have created a hindrance in their dedicated effort to impart knowledge whether it was the British or the Muslim era.
The atrocities committed on the teachers which lead to ruining of the Indian civilization and culture has been recorded in the Indian history. History is a witness to the fact that if those who educate the children are suppressed or tortured, the country can never progress. History is replete with such examples.”
He further wrote, “Today we are standing on pedestal where our precious class of scholars i.e our teachers who are the lighthouse of knowledge are in a poor state of affairs. Their future is bleak but they are silent. They are bearing the insult with poise as they are the ones who teach discipline to others. Therefore, they cannot come out and scream for their rights even though they are choked inside. They hardly see any ray of hope as they are left to fend for themselves even though they are teaching online. The pandemic Covid-19 has shattered the lives of those who selflessly render their services for making the life of other’s children. The society should not forget that they are the one’s who have given to the world great Doctors, Engineers, Scholars, Advocates, Business Tycoons, Leaders, I.A.S, I.P.S and I.R.S officers.”
Adding, the letter reads “I have spent 40 years of my life amidst teachers and I have seen their dedication, diligence, honesty and allegiance which is hard to find in any other profession. What they get in return is a matter of common knowledge. A teacher only needs respect and recognition for her selfless services. However, it is hard to find this in today’s materialistic world. Let us pause to ponder and analyse the situation where a mother is not able to handle even a three year old child whereas a teacher handles 25-30 children for six hours, teaches them not only books but values for life and life skills, makes them complete their work and learn it within a fixed span of time. A mother gives birth to a child but teacher makes life. Without a teacher a child will be a balloon flying past in pitch darkness. For doing such a great service to the society she gets in return only insults and rebukes.
I recently read a news that in Bengaluru when teacher was teaching online some parents were passing comments which were in bad taste. Many such incidents have been occurring since the online classes are going on. I am constrained to say that some people are calling the online teaching a drama without realizing that if it stops the loss will be irreparable. Surprisingly, the public is only looking at the materialistic loss without registering the fact that if the teachers stop teaching online, the future of the children will be ruined.
Some self-styled leaders are giving instructions and comments to the teachers without realising that whatever they are today it is due to the grace of teachers. Do they ever introspect about what they have given to the society before criticizing the teachers? I feel they have negligible contribution towards the society as compared to the teachers. Teachers only expect respect which is not there in the society.”
Further, while mentioning that he recently came across a news in a National Daily which he wishes to share with the Prime Minister, he writes, “In one of the European countries, a teacher was summoned in the court. When the Magistrate got to know his profession he stood up with respect and said that it was matter of shame that a teacher had to come to his court and he sought apology for that. He then respectfully told him to leave the court. Such respect for teachers is given only in those nations where education is given prime importance. I am appalled at the manner in which teachers in our country are treated. All these years I have seen the respect for teachers diminishing day by day due to the materialistic mind-set of the people. Teachers are subjected to humiliation by the parents and they are even abused and told certain things in front of the children which an aware citizen will not be able to tolerate.”
Dr Rajesh Rudhra further mentions in the letter, that “We have a dearth of real teachers in our country primarily for Physics, Geography, English, Psychology, Social Science because the students these days are not inclined towards choosing teaching as their profession. There was a time when teaching was considered to be most sought after profession. Today this is the last choice and the one’s we have with us should be given a priority. Time to time the teachers have played a great role in the history of our nation. We are proud of the contributions of Dr. Rajendra Prasad first president of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Chanakya, Swami Vivekanand, Swami Vidyanand Saraswati Jee, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Kautalaya and Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and the first lady teacher Savitribai Phule. History is a witness that whenever teachers rose up against the atrocities there was a big revolution. Today, educated people do understand the importance of education but not of the educators. There is need to understand that there can be no education without teachers. The salaries of the teachers come from the school fee. Today the future of teachers is bleak as inspite of their hard work the schools are finding it difficult to pay the salaries as the schools are closed due to Corona and people are not ready to deposit the fee. The teachers are still doing their work in a dedicated manner. The online teaching has left them with health issues and eyesight problems. Yet keeping the future of the children in mind they are leaving no stone unturned. Schools can pay salaries only if the fee is deposited as no school can afford to pay 60 to 70 lakhs without collecting the fees. When the schools will not have funds, teachers will not get salaries and therefore they will not be able to survive. As a result the teachers will stop teaching and if it happens the damage caused to the society will be immense. Therefore, the government and society must understand the seriousness of the situation and try to save it.” He added no one is ready to understand this grave situation.
Adding, he said, “Inspite of the instructions of the Hon’ble Judiciary and the Government, the fee is not being deposited due to which it is getting impossible for the schools to give salaries to the teachers and the support staff. Non- payment of salaries will lead to the bleak future of the children and the Nation at large." He added, "How will the country progress without teachers. They are the backbone of the country. I plead you with folded hands to save this dangerous situation. From your special package of Rs. Twenty lac crores there is nothing for the teachers who are the torch bearers of the society? If nothing can be given to them in the name of grant at least help the schools to collect the school fee so that this class of educators stay with us for the progress of the nation.”