Richa believes that it is hard work that works and rest all are by products towards it. She is a passionate writer and a foodie.
Joblessness and financial constraints forced a Telugu teacher to sell bananas to sustain himself and his family amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Venkatasubbaiah had taught Telugu to high school students for nearly 15 years. Even after the onset of the pandemic, he continued to depart knowledge to his students at the Narayana School in Nellore, through online classes.
However, having lost his job the high school teacher was forced to find an alternate means of livelihood to feed his family. Thus he has been selling bananas in Pushcart for the last three weeks.
When the COVID-19 lockdown began, Venkatasubbaiah said in a report by The News Minute, online classes began at Narayana School from March 29. On May 14, a few days before classes came to an end, the school management held a meeting online with Venkatasubbaiah and five of his colleagues. They were told that they need not continue to work anymore, as their "performance had been unsatisfactory."
He and his colleagues were told by the school authorities that anyone can teach their subjects and that their contribution was no longer required.
"They told us there was no need to work anymore, that we were of no use as we were not bringing in admissions. We tried to explain that it had been difficult to go canvassing for admissions during the pandemic as people wouldn't let us into their houses. But they called us incompetent," Venkatasubbaiah narrated.
He added that many of his colleagues had returned to their native villages after losing their jobs but he was pushed into pursuing an alternate means to livelihood to bear the cost for his son's illness.
"I had financial problems and medical expenses for my son's illness. I couldn't take any more loans because I was already in debt, and my financial situation may not get better anytime soon. The father of a former student whom I had taught back in 2007 helped me out by allowing me to sell his banana produce," says Venkataasubbaiah, who has two masters degrees in Telugu and Public Administration, apart from a Bachelors in Education.
However, his haplessness was not hidden for long from his former students who decide to take matters into their own hands to help their distraught teacher. Around 150 students whom Venkatasubbaiah had taught five to six years ago raised Rs 86,300 for their teacher.
Venkatasubbaiah was overwhelmed by the kind gesture of his former students and expressing his desire to continue teaching in future, he said: "Selling bananas is a temporary job. If so many former students from years back wanted to help me, I must have made an impact as a teacher. I want to go back to teaching eventually, even if it pays less,"
The teaching community in Andhra Pradesh has been severely hit by the pandemic with many teachers losing their jobs. Many like Venkatasubbaiah were forced to find an alternate source of livelihoods like daily wage labor or selling homemade pickles and snacks.
Private teachers' associations have been seeking help from the state government, with private and 'corporate' schools leaving them the lurch.
"I told my students they shouldn't be giving me money, that they should be investing in their own careers, but they insisted on helping me. I wish the government would support us by providing some livelihood options since there are not many teaching jobs available at this time," Venkatasubbaiah urged in a report by The News Minute.
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