My mother, S. Lakshmi, a teacher in Somarasanpettai village

R. Meenakshi

R. Meenakshi was brought up in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), Tamil Nadu. A graduate in Chemistry from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, she is currently a Superintendent of Central Excise. This story is a tribute to every teacher and epecially to her mother, S. Lakshmi, who was a teacher.

R. Meenakshi's mother, S. Lakshmi, was a teacher at a government college in Somarasanpettai village near Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), Tamil Nadu.

The teacher in this photo is my mother, S. Lakshmi. She worked in a Government School, in a village called Somarasanpettai, near Trichy (Tiruchirappalli). It was relatively a bigger village more close to Trichy town. This school, though boasting to be a Higher Secondary School as early as late 1980's, did not have enough buildings to house all the classes.

As is the norm, when a school expands and higher classes are added, buildings are occupied by them and lower classes are deprived of the luxury of pucca buildings. My mother taught classes from 6th to 8th and most of her classes were held under the tree like this. So the District Education Department wanted to take up this matter with the Government. This photo was taken in the final year of my mother's service.

The school, catering to all nearby small villages, had students mainly from the farming communities. So the students would attend school only when there was no farming work. During the sowing and harvesting seasons of the year, school attendance used be very thin. But the students and parents would be very loyal to the teachers. The toughest time for them would be paper corrections and declaring the results.

The teachers working in these schools in remote places had to face so many hardships those days. They did not have any facility like private schools in towns. Invariably the parents of students would be uneducated. Most of the parents and many students never showed any interest in studies.

Coming to the school daily was a duty. For some it was for the mid-day meals. Many boys and girls would go to the fields for work. So the teachers had a tough time in ensuring enough attendance for each student. Though they had minimum attendance norms, they usually did not disqualify the students for lack of attendance.

In spite of all hardships, many such schools in the villages of India show good results, percentage-wise and quality-wise too.

My humble salute to the great teaching community in India, especially to those who work to uplift rural India.


beautiful. its very nice to see my mother in this foto. my sister has surprised me by publishing this foto through you sir. those were the golden ,days when i used to visit her school. it was around five or six kilometers from my place. my mother used to commute from trichy to kumbakonam, some 100 kms from my place, daily. after her ordeal of some 20 or so years, she came to this school. she worked there for some 17 years. she retired in the year 1996. there are so many government school teachers who travel to places as far away as 50 kms from their place of living every day. to remote places connected by bus that comes only two times a day. i read an article in the newpapers that a teacher walks 11kms through jungle every day, for the past 19 years to teach tribal students. she says whenever she sees a leopard or some wild animal, she would hide behind trees and walk further to the village after they have gone. another teacher in kerala goes to teach maths to his students, crossing a river everyday by swimming. there are such teachers who are unknown to common public and city dwellers. i salute those teachers. being a son of a teacher, i owe them so much in my life. may the people be recognised more by the society for what they are doing, for their selfless services.

Please write something more about your mother ...


thanks. i'll try to delve into my mother's fotos and come up with something more. she had multi-talents. a qualified musician, hindi-pandit, had good knowledge of sanskrit, etc. she had been a great inspiration to me . i owe my habit of reading and love of music to her. she allowed me to read anything since i was 13 years old. she let me join a library when i was barely 13 years. if i am something i owe it to her. let me see.

Dear mr Muthukrishnan if uahve another story about yr mother then pl write a new article from a different perspective. Editor is pleased to see your happiness.

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