Students devise ‘pension’ scheme for retired teacher in need

Dejected at the plight of the former teacher, Arun narrated Pillai’s story to the NSS volunteers of the school.
NSS volunteers of Government VHSS, Vithura, handing over the monthly pension to former teacher Krishna Pillai at the school in Thiruvananthapuram
NSS volunteers of Government VHSS, Vithura, handing over the monthly pension to former teacher Krishna Pillai at the school in ThiruvananthapuramPhoto | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Decades ago, Krishna Pillai taught English through home tuitions to hundreds of students in and around Vithura, a sleepy village on the eastern fringes of Thiruvananthapuram.

Now, Pillai, nearing 80, neither has a roof over his head nor a family to support him. For the people of Vithura, the sight of Pillai frequenting waiting sheds and shop verandahs for shelter is common.

Arun V P, the VHSE-NSS programme officer of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Vithura, too, met Pillai almost everyday on his way to school.

Dejected at the plight of the former teacher, Arun narrated Pillai’s story to the NSS volunteers of the school. They put their heads together and came up with the idea of providing monthly assistance in the form of a pension to help Pillai buy essential items and medicines.

“Sir (Pillai) was born to a family of farm labourers and pursued his studies battling many odds. He taught several students, most of whom are now well-placed. However, he does not even possess an Aadhaar card to claim the government’s welfare pension,” Arun said. The NSS unit decided to provide Rs 1,600 — the amount provided by the government as welfare pension — to Pillai every month.

The fund would be sourced through the profit students earn through the sale of the products they make. The first ‘pension’ was handed over to Pillai last month.

Pillai’s former students among school’s faculty

“The NSS volunteers have brought out a package priced Rs 200 containing products like incense sticks, soap, dish-wash gel and a multi-surface cleaner. They need to sell around 40 units per month to earn the profit to support Krishna sir,” said Arun.

Pillai has also won a few medals in Master’s athletic events when he was in his 70s. Until recently, he visited the school to provide training and tips to student athletes. A few of the school’s current faculty members are Pillai’s former students.

Principal Manjusha A R said this was not the first time that the NSS volunteers have made a mark through their social service initiatives. Last year, the unit raised Rs 8 lakh to build a house in 100 days for a schoolmate who had lost her father to an illness. The NSS volunteers also clean and maintain around 25 spots in the panchayat.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com