KADAPA: 56-year-old teacher from Kasinayana mandal in Kadapa district made his life mission to help tribals become literate. After school hours, he makes it a point to visit the localities where tribals reside and teaches the adults and children letters and other basics.
Besides, he also extends a helping hand to improve their living conditions. His dedication to teaching and efforts to improve literacy rate among tribals fetched him the best teacher award at both State and national level.
Sk Dada Peer started his teaching career in 1986, when he was posted as a teacher in a government school in Porumamilla and worked in Mylavaram before being transferred to upper primary school at Reddy Kottala village in Kasinayana mandal in 1991, where he was promoted as SGT and worked there till 2009. He returned to the school as a headmaster in 2016. In his 34 years of career, he worked 22 years at Reddy Kottala.
While working as a teacher at Reddy Kottala, he observed that children belonging to tribal communities in the region were not attending school, instead helping their parents collect thorny bushes and wood to make charcoal for selling. Financial situation of these tribal families in the village was very poor. There were about 30 such families. In 2002, when he was posted as a secondary grade teacher (SGT) to a government school in the locality where those tribal families were living, Dada Peer decided to educate the children of tribal families.
With the help of his friends, he collected books, pens and slates and taught them basics and encouraged them to join schools. He was so dedicated that he was the first to arrive at school and last to leave and whenever he was late even by a minute or left the school earlier than the closing time, he used to consider that day as leave. From 2003 to 2015, he did not take a single leave.At present in Reddy Kottala school, there are 156 students and nine teachers.
During Covid crisis, an NRI Dr Phani Raju Kumar donated `50,000 to Dada Peer for using them for helping tribals and also provided rice bags and other essential commodities to 25 tribal families. Dada Peer was also actively involved in environmental conservation with the help of his students.
His efforts to make Reddy Kottala smoke-free also yielded results, as under different schemes the entire village got gas connections. He helped a few tribal women undergo family planning operations. His dedication and efforts fetched him the best teacher award in 2003, State-level best teacher award in 2008, Chelimi award in 2011 and national-level best teacher award in 2013.
Bringing dropouts back to school
In 2009, he was transferred to Kattakindapalle and the situation of those tribal families returned to square one with the kids dropping out of school.
When he returned as the headmaster of Reddy Kottala school in 2016, he resumed the work for tribals from where he left. He admitted those who completed Class V to Class VI and now two of them are in Class IX, which happened for the first time in the history of the tribal colony. His efforts were praised by the CM peshi