Submit Spotlight Smt. Kapotari Devi, a 'crude, old, illiterate' woman's story
For the theologians, this world rests on the hood of the thousand-headed serpent, the sheshnaag; economists believe this world to be running on the steam of money; for the political scientists, politics is the only driving-force for this world; and for the scientist, science is the only truth.
I really can’t say to what extent each one of these is true.
Seventy years old Smt. Kapotari Devi is a child-widow. She has not read theology, nor has she memorized the principles of Economics; she is not in any way related to politics and does not understand the explanations of science. And yet she knows about this earth, recognizes her village well, understands her society.
In the eyes of the government she is an illiterate, crude old woman. But what this illiterate, crude lady has taught me can undoubtedly not be taught by the largest of the universities of this world.
I have been in this school for the last three and a half years, and I have seen her come to it on a continuous basis - untiring, selfless, talking to us and the children.
Kapotari Devi once sat on a fast before the powers-that-be in the interest of the school. As is usually the case with the Administration, it heard some and ignored some. What was heard was not implemented. And what went unheard could, of course, not have been implemented. The administration was very much like the progeny gone bad, ignoring and going against parents and ancestors - understanding the language of power, wealth, status but not the tender, mute language of affection.
This mother saw the children sitting on the floor for their studies, and she provided ninety-eight thousand rupees from her saving based on her pension so that chairs and tables could be bought for them.
In the last three years some of our students have participated in various district/state/national competitions. The C.E.Os/ B.E.Os and other such functionaries never ever thought it necessary to encourage these children. They are, of course, not paid for this purpose; there are other tasks far more important than to be paying attention to children and their school!
But how could the affection of the mother let this go unseen? She it was who always encouraged the kids.
The school honoured her with a shawl – a family honouring its elder.
We shall always remain indebted to you, O Mother !
You made us aware about what forms the base of the Earth.
We pray for each village, each school to have such a Mother.
Courtesy: The Facebook Wall of Mukesh Prasad Bahuguna who teaches in the Government Intermediate College, Mundaneshwar, Pauri Garhwal (Uttarakhand).
First published in Hindi edtion of the Teahers of India, English translation by Ramneek Mohan