Rather than belt out some clichés on the do’s and don’ts of the teaching profession, I’d like to share an episode that comes to mind from my over forty years in a vocation that is nothing short of a divine calling.
One morning as I walked out of my lecture in the F. Y. BCom class, Susan (name changed) followed hard at my heels. Even before I turned, she grabbed my hand and demanded, “Madam I need to talk to you. When can I come?” Running through my packed schedule for the day, I tried to put it off for the morrow. “No”, she insisted, “it’s got to be today”. Sensing the urgency of the matter I shelved other commitments and asked her to meet me in my cabin during my free period. “Yes Susan”, I said holding her hand in mine. She burst into tears. I let her sob for some time. Then she began “My mother married this lecherous drunkard. My father died leaving us homeless and in utter poverty. Taking advantage of the situation, this man befriended my mother, assuring her that he would take care of both of us. Once married he showed his true colours. I shudder when I think of the physical and mental trauma my mother has gone through. But the worst was yet to come. In my growing up years to my horror, I realized that he was a paedophile. Day or night I am not safe when alone with him in the house. How can I tell this to my mother – already so battered and tormented? There’s no one I can turn to. So I decided to speak to you, before I do something drastic.”
In ancient times a teacher was considered to be a guru, but sadly only the male child had the privilege of getting educated and that too if he belonged to a certain caste or community.
The other children were not given the opportunity to education. The females on the other hand were completely denied any education except to learn the art of cooking and housekeeping.
The teacher [guru] taught all that he knew, all his skills to the child and most often the child had to live with the teacher [guru] till he had accomplished all the skills.
The Society of St. Vincent De Paul is an International Organisation started by blessed Frederic Ozanan. St. Vincent dedicated himself to the poor and is known as the ‘Great apostle of Charity’. In St. Sebastian’s Church this Conference of SSVP was started in the year 1997. Presently there are 18 members in the Conference.
I would like to place before you some of the activities carried out by our members. We visit St. Joseph’s Home at Quepem, Jyoti Bhavan at Balli, both run by Mother Teresa’s nuns. Sometimes some benefactors donate some money in remembrance of their deceased family members and ask us to give food for the inmates. So we give lunch for these inmates.
Open up our daily newspaper and what do we read? It’s all about politicians, violence and catastrophes. Is this what we really want to read? The media plays a very important role in our lives. I would say we are greatly influenced by it. How we mould our youngsters is important as they will be tomorrow’s future generation.
The use of gadgets, especially smart phones and tablets, is increasingly growing among the youth. Our future generation is showing the true meaning of being ‘technologically savvy’. The obsession for phones is such, that most teenagers use their phones while in bed. Late night phone use directly contributes to poor sleep habits, which over time leads to decline in overall well-being and mental health. So the more you sit in bed and watch TV, play with your tablet, phone and have your phone beeping at 3 in the morning, all these things affect your sleep pattern and will give the person poor quality sleep. It’s a growing issue with teenagers, adolescents and the young. It’s going to affect their attitude, their cognitive skills, concentrations skills, and their moodiness during the day.
This run is organized every year since 2016 by the Rotary Club of Porvorim. It is a major fund raising event to support the Flagship Community Service Activity of the Rotary Club of Porvorim – “The Prakash Cancer Aid Project” and the entire fund goes to this project.
The Prakash Cancer Aid Project is directed towards prevention and treatment of cancer in women. The three major cancers targeted are breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian tumors.