Wednesday April 2 2008 09:08 IST
TUNIVALASA: Reddipalle Jagadish is just one among thousands of government teachers working in rural schools across the State.
There is nothing out of the ordinary about his duties at the Mandal Parishad Elementary School in Tunivalasa of Padmanabham mandal, about 15 km from Vizianagaram. But what makes him truly stand out is that since his appointment as a secondary grade teacher (SGT) in 2003, he has been doing whatever he can to make a difference to the lives of his students and has helped 45 indigent ones continue their education beyond Class X.
“I had seen many friends drop out of school and college due to financial problems. They ended up working in small jobs for paltry amounts only because they hadn’t the means to study further,” says the 27-year-old youth.
Jagadish spends about Rs 30,000 (nearly 50 per cent of his annual income) to sponsor students every year. Currently, he is helping 10 boys through Inter, four to complete graduation and a visually-impaired student B Ed.
“I am single. My family does not require my income. I keep some for my expenses and the rest is for helping the poor,” he says.
Many junior colleges in Vizianagaram who are familiar with Jagadish’s efforts get into the spirit of things by waiving the fee - in part or in two - while Jagadish takes care of the books and other expenses.
“Some friends too chip in. I hope to see these students go on to help others in need,” he says.
“Helping others is not a matter of capability, but rather that of commitment and determination,” observes Jagadish. And determination is a quality he has in ample measure.
It is proved by the fact that his own visual impairment has not come in the way of his lighting the path for others - and lightening their difficulties.