PALAKKAD: After Plus Two exams in 2005, Abdul Shukoor’s father expressed his inability to help him study further. The circumstances at home were compelling. His father K Moidutty, who eked out a living from a small shop, told him, “If you decide to study, it will go on for many years. I have very little income. You should either go to the Gulf or learn driving.”
That was a common practice in their neighbourhood in Ongallur, recalls Shukoor, who now has a government job as a Higher Secondary School teacher, having completed a master’s degree in Malayalam and acquired BEd. “Higher education was the last priority, least of all for a subject like Malayalam, as job opportunities were less.”
So he went to a workshop. But his heavy constitution made it difficult to go under vehicles to repair them. After a few months, he moved to a medical shop. “I worked there as a salesman, my sole income for a decade since 2006. I haven’t taken a single rupee from my family for my studies after Plus Two,” he says. Now, he is overjoyed to have beaten all odds to receive an advice memo from the Public Service Commissions.
“The owner of the medical shop, Masood Koppam, encouraged me to study and I secured admission at the Government College in Pattambi for BA Malayalam,” he says. He would be at the shop at the crack of dawn till 10am, and again from 4pm to 9.30pm. “In between, I would either attend college or sit in the shop and complete my academic work. There were occasions when teachers scolded me for arriving late. I passed MA with 70% marks,” he recounts.
He is grateful to the guidance of his teachers, particularly Santosh Hrishikesh and P P Prakashan, in making the right decisions. “My only aim was to get a degree and become a medical representative. One day, Santosh sir told me nobody with an MA in Malayalam and a BEd was sitting idle. Then I began striving to achieve this goal,” says an elated Shukoor, who had also worked as a guest lecturer in schools and colleges. Shukoor is married to Shamla and they have a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Shaiz Mohammed.