Hordes of students that Indira Dutta has moulded in a career spanning 36 years speak of her donning several roles; of a friend, philosopher and guide, apart from being their teacher. “It is so fulfilling that given a choice in my next birth, I would like to be a teacher again,’’ says Indira who has been a pillar of Odia literature teaching at graduation and post graduation levels at various colleges in the State.
She completed her doctorate in ‘Odia Sahityare Nabajagarana o kathakar Godabarisha Mishra’ in 2001 from Utkal University. She began teaching at Maharaja Purnachandra College, Baripada, and went on to fascinate students at Government Women’s College, Bhadrak, and Fakir Mohan College in Balasore.
“It is true that as teachers we mould students, but I feel a teacher’s success can be gauged from the way her students perform in real life situations. I was very strict in my classes and even today I am, while teaching my grandchildren at home. But beyond the classroom, I made my students confide in me with my love and affection. They are free to come and meet me, and discuss their issues whether related to education or their personal conflicts,’’ Dutta says, who is an avid reader. She has written short stories which have been published in Odia periodicals and journals. She was also awarded the Mukunda Murari Kaminibala Kavyakala Samman for the year 2014.
For someone being felicitated by her students with the Sikhyak Gourab Samman on her farewell day in 2011, Indira gets emotional at the very mention of the day. “My students were my larger family. And I am happy to have got an opportunity to teach students in the age group of 15-21 when they are like raw clay. I am sure my students, wherever they are today, must be doing well,’’ says the teacher.