Teacher works as coolie worker to make ends meet during lockdown
Kozhikode: The lockdown over coronavirus outbreak has changed the life of many people. Palerimeethal Babu who faced many adversities in his life also took up this challenge courageously. He was working as an English teacher at a parallel college in Vatakara for 30 years.
He became jobless after the nationwide lockdown came into force following the coronavirus outbreak. After struggling without an income for three months, Babu decided to turn a coolie worker at a construction site. During his college days, he used to do this job to meet his needs. Now, he has been forced to resume this job as teaching in parallel college is no more possible amid the lockdown.
“I was clueless about my life when I moved to Chennai while studying in 10th standard. In Chennai, I worked at a tea stall run by Onchiyam native CK Chathu in Mylapore. After completing the work, I used to read English newspapers. My colleague Thikkodi native Rajan helped me to understand the meaning of English words. After 4 years, I became almost fluent in English reading English magazines and newspapers,” Babu narrated his story.
Babu returned to Kerala as the tea stall owner advised him to pass SSLC examination. Though he passed the exam, he was unable to continue his studies due to financial problems in his family. Fortunately, Athafi Ramachandran, a Saudi-based businessman, sponsored his studies. He passed BA English from Madappally Govt. College. While studying in college, he worked at construction sites and engaged in other jobs.
CK Sasi, the owner of Sagar parallel college at Vatakara offered an English teacher’s job to Babu after realizing his expertise in English language. He served as a teacher in Sagar college for more than 18 years. He also taught English to students in various parallel colleges in Vadakara for 12 years.
“I earned a good income to take care of my family including wife and two sons. But as the number of students declined, I am not able to get a decent income from the job at parallel colleges. COVID-19 outbreak completely shattered the hope to continue in teaching profession,” said Babu.
Babu has to repay the housing loan too. He is struggling to meet the expense of education of his sons Arjun and Parthiv.
“My friend PT Sasi, a contractor offered the job at a construction site after realizing my financial problems. I accepted the offer after my wife Anitha Kumari also supported me. As I am 55 years old now, I am not having the energy which I had while working in the construction site when I was a student. But Sasi is supporting me a lot,” added Babu.
According to Babu, if we have the determination to fight any adversities, we will overcome it. He hopes to resume teaching job after the coronavirus is contained.