Tamil Nadu teacher’s transfer: Real story behind the emotional viral video – Why the students cried

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New Delhi | Published: June 24, 2018 12:19:21 PM

A heart touching visual of a Tamil Nadu teacher breaking down, and students hugging, crying, trying to prevent his transfer went viral last week.

A school in Tamil Nadu (Representatine Image: IE)

A heart touching visual of a Tamil Nadu teacher breaking down, and students hugging, crying, trying to prevent his transfer went viral last week. G Bhagwan, the English teacher from Veliagaram Government high school, and one of his colleagues were transferred to another school in Tiruttani, as a part of Tamil Nadu government redeployment plan to maintain a teacher-student ratio of 1:30 in schools. The Veliagaram school had 265 students and 18 teachers (including the two transferred).

The Indian Express reports that Kavya, a 14-year-old who wants to become a tehsildar, Karthick and Anu Ezhumalai, whose mother wants her to be a doctor or a teacher – were amongst the students who wailed, hugged and held on to G Bhagwan, refusing to let him go. Karthick, who is now in class 8, a son of a mason, called Bhagwan their “best teacher”. “He made English my favourite subject. He used to introduce new books to us. Everyone in the class passed English in Class 7,” he added. While Kavya said that Bhagawan was “a father figure, an elder brother”. “When I told him I want to become a tehsildar, he told me to write this down on a paper every day. He promised I will achieve it. He made us write a diary. English is very important for jobs and interviews, and he is the one who taught us the language,” IE quoted her as saying. Interrupting Kavya, Anu said, “Why should they transfer Sir now? He has to be here forever.”

For these three along with many other students of Veliagaram Government school, G Bhagwan, their English teacher was the only man who was supposed to show them the path leading to their dreams and aspirations, from their village in the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The 28-year-old teacher was transferred to another school in Tiruttani, about 40 km away from Veliagaram.

Most of the students in the school, that has classes up to 10th, belong to the OBC Vanniyar community and the rest are Dalits. Parents of the students, who are mostly illiterates, even approached the local MLA to try and stop the transfer. Even singer AR Rahman tweeted about the news, which was retweeted for nearly 5000 times, even MDMK leader Vaiko reached out to Bhagawan “to console and wish him the best”, reported The Indian Express.

For a rural school, Veliagaram had an impressive pass percentage of 82 in the Class 10 SSLC exam last year. The nearest town of the school is 40 kms away, and the students who come by bus from far away have to walk for 3kms to reach the school. Academic activities were disrupted in the school for two days after the incident went viral. A colleague of Bhagwan told IE that the 28-year-old is very emotional. “For the students, he was everything,” added the teacher, who was reluctant to identify himself after all the publicity the school attracted. Another one informed IE, “Bhagawan is familiar to most parents too. Young and a bachelor, he could afford to spend a lot of time with students even after class hours.”

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