As we moved on to the Government School, Kethmaranahalli, a spacious classroom splashed in bright blue was slowly filled to capacity by students in uniforms of a matching indigo. With charts of animals, vegetables, and a whole lot of other artwork that adorned the walls, students totaling about a hundred waited for their teachers to arrive. In the interim, as Maitreyee (Founding Member of D.S.F), engaged students in conversation, to one question, with firm conviction, a student said that Teacher’s Day is celebrated as this was the day that all teachers were born.
Head-Mistress, Miss Parimala, and associate teachers, Miss Pankaja and Miss Vishalakshiwere again praised to the skies by students. A small skit imitating their teachers had the audience in splits. In a bid to engage the teachers in a competition, each teacher was asked to blow a balloon which was to be burst only by sitting on it. At the end of two minutes the teacher with the highest count would be the winner. As the event began, with each bursting balloon, the children cheered on and celebrated just as they would during Diwali. Each balloon that burst saw a roar from kids who found it hard to contain their excitement. As the teachers cut a cake in celebration of this day, students sang Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs. A quick correction and in the same tone and rhythm, they sang Happy Teachers Day and sunk their teeth into the cupcakes that were distributed.
Miss Vishalakshi told us of the complex matters that they deal with on a daily basis at school. Grossly understaffed, teachers find it difficult to handle these many students at a time. Parents who are drunks, drug addicts or imprisoned seem uninterested in the education of their wards, thereby making it harder for the teachers who are expected to don additional responsibility.
-- Karun Gopinath