CHENNAI: Amid the bustle and everyday ordinariness in Tiruvallur’s Avadi, 59-year-old G Lakshmi Narasimhan’s presence is an enlightening one. For years, this retired central government employee has been a guiding light for hundreds of students who want to pick his brain, and learn life skill lessons from him. Passing on the knowledge free of cost, he hasn’t just quenched their thirsts, but has made them into some exemplary achievers.
Since 1990, Narasimhan had worked in the Office of the Accountant General and before that, he was serving in the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC). Narasimhan was a born teacher, much like his ancestors, and teaching fit him like a glove. His first teaching venture was when he started teaching his classmates in Class 10 at Namali village near Arakkonam in 1978. Even when he was preparing for the TNPSC exams, he took classes free of cost for people below the poverty line. His dedication has earned him a right to boast about his students in various Central and State government departments now.
Narasimhan told TNIE, “I spend 10 to 20 per cent of my salary for my students. I decided to help others as I myself come from a middle class family. I started the Nandhavanam Educational, Social and Charitable trust at Avadi in 2015. Many of my students are now government servants, and my friends are the trustees.”
Branched out his expertise, recently he has started teaching shorthand to more than 20 college students for government exams. “A few of my pupils are being raised by a single parent. The college fees and the shorthand exam fee is also paid by our trust for such students,” he said. Besides imparting knowledge, he offers free tailoring classes for women and plants saplings to do his bit for the environment. During the lockdown, he distributed rice and grocery items to many. “I am a follower of Swami Vivekananda and my mantra is ‘service to humanity’,” he shared.
The accounts from his students are testament to his dedication. M Munusamy (57), working as a principal secretary in Southern Railway told TNIE that in 1984, Narasimhan prepared him for government examinations.
Likewise, T Muthu (45), working at the AG office and R Aravazhi (50), working at Central Excises and GST office, too, are feathers in Narasimhan’s cap. But the list does not end with them. S Sridhar (18), who lost his right hand at the age of eight due to an electric shock, is now studying shorthand from Narasimhan.
“I was working in a newspaper agency to distribute papers after completing my plus two. He (Lakshmi Narasimhan) approached me and asked to learn shorthand. For the last 10 months, I have been learning here. Though the State government has not conducted the exams due to the pandemic, I am confident that I will do well whenever it happens,” he told TNIE. The boy hopes to become a government servant so that his parents, who works as daily wage labourers, do not have to continue their back-breaking work.
For Narasimhan, hoping to stay true to his mantra is the only thought as he is entering into his sixties. He says he wants to develop his trust as ‘Valllar Kudil’, which will provide free food round the clock along with free education. Helping him in his project, are the trustees R Poyyamozhi, M Nagarajan and R Padmanaban.