My class is made up of all kinds of students, some bright, some indifferent and some mediocre in studies. But I always feel each of these students are very distinctive. They have something unique in them and it for us to find what is so special about them. All children are impressionable and we should treat them as individuals and respect their uniqueness. Each student is a different in his learning abilities and we should nurture them to find what is best for them.
I had a very sweet and timid girl Aksha in class 6th who would never speak at all. She would just stare at me unwavering .Her gaze would always baffle me. Lately she had started laughing whenever she set eyes on me.
But if I would ask her anything pertaining to studies she would never answer. I found out from other teachers she was very quiet in their classes and never spoke but just sat silently in one corner never mingling with the other students.
I was astonished at her strange behaviour and I wanted to get at the bottom of it. I wondered what was it about me that made her laugh in such a melodious way.
I went to her house .She lived with her maternal grandmother. Her mother had died when she was six months and her grandmother had taken her in. Her father was for all purposes nonexistent for her emotionally and physically .She missed her mother's presence in her life constantly. She had taken to to stare at her mother's picture endlessly.
I told the grandmother the whole story. The grandmother looked at me and smiled. She told me I bear an uncanny resemblance to her dead daughter that is Aksha's mother. I was stunned ,I said eagerly show me the picture. It was true we really looked similar. It could have been my picture.
Now I understood Aksha's fascination for me. That is why she would keep staring at me. She was looking for a mom's love and she thought with a child's simplicity that I could fill the void..
My heart went out for her. What a childhood for her, abandoned by her father at a young age and living in with a old and poor grandmother. I knew I had to handle Aksha very sensitively. The next day I went to school. I had made up my mind to speak to Aksha.
When I entered the class, she was waiting for me .Before I could say something she said can I call you ammi . And she ran into my arms. I don't know who was hugging each other tighter or whose eyes were more wet. And the lump in my throat never seemed to go away! God had given me such a lovely daughter.
-By Kavita, Teacher- Manav Gulzar Community Centre
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” Oprah Winfrey