Meet Jiji - a Teacher, Newspaper distributor, Farmer, Panchayat member – all full time
Kunnikode: Social service and time management are two things one needs to learn from Jiji Biju, a full time teacher and Panchayat member who also dons the roles of a newspaper distributor and farmer. Jiji's day starts early. She is out delivering newspapers at 4.30 in the morning. From 9 am she is busy teaching her students in her school. In the evening she turns her attention to her little farm on her terrace. And apart from all this she is also a full time Panchayat member ready to deal with any problems her people face. As if there could be any time left but she is also the coordinator of the prayer team at the local Diocese church.
She has been a teacher at the St. Benedict English Medium school at Ilambal for the last 12 years. She says she chose to distribute newspapers to be able to better utlise her free time. She also realised that this helped her meet her students and A teacher their parents outside the school environment helping in better interaction.
She reaches the Punalur post office junction at 4.30 am to collect the newspapers and starts distributing them with her son Felix. For the last three years she has been supplying newspapers to the government offices and schools in Punalur area. While Jiji runs on a tight schedule, her husband Biju who works in a private company in Kochi drops in to help her out during the exam times of her son Felix who is in class XI.
Even though she became a candidate in the last Panchayat election for the UDF, she had to pull out of party-backed candidature following the seat tussles in the party. Thereafter she competed as an independent with the support of LDF and won on a big majority.
Her school managed by the Latin Catholic Christian Church has been in full support of her candidature but on a condition that she will not leave her teaching job. They were keen to have the active teacher and social worker on board who was a major force behind securing the recognition for the school and was honoured with a gold medal by them.