IDUKKI: For partially blind Linsi George, life is not for making compromises because of the darkness surrounding her, but it is all about leading generations towards the light. A teacher with the lower primary section of Government Tribal Higher Secondary School at Murikkattukudy in Idukki, Linsi has proved her mettle by uplifting the tribal students and their underprivileged families settled in the area.
A winner of the state teacher’s award in 2020, the 42-year-old from Labbakkada near Kattappana has so far helped six homeless tribal children in the school to get a roof over their heads, a journey that started in 2007. “I was 25 when I joined the Kerala education service in 2005. The LP school in Murikkattukudy was my second posting,” Linsi said
Murikkattukudy is a Mannan tribe-dominated area, where several families are still managing with bare subsistence. During the monthly visit to a student’s house in 2015, Linsi happened to witness the predicament of a boy who was living in a small shed covered with plastic sheets with her mother and three siblings. “The family didn’t even have a single chair to offer us a seat,” she said. Seeing the plight, Linsi decided to pool in money to build a house for the boy. Along with the money collected from her colleagues and some kind-hearted people, Linsi and her husband Sebastian, who is working as an office staff at a private college in Kuttikkanam, also contributed their savings to construct the house.
“The other five houses were built for students who approached me directly describing their predicament. While some of them had no proper government document to avail the government housing schemes, some had already sold the government-provided land and houses to treat sick members of their families,” she said.
A vegetable garden was also set up at the school on Linsi’s initiative ensures chemical-free meals for the children. The curry powder used for cooking dishes are also home made by Linsi with support from her husband for which the spices are bought from local tribal families.
During the pandemic, she had managed to distribute groceries to nearly 150 families in Murikkattukudy, besides providing television sets to the tribal students in the Kannampadi-Memari area. Linsi’s elder son Joyal is a Class 8 student at her school itself, while her younger son Tom Thomas is a Class 6 student at St Mary’s UP School in Kanchiyar.