Its 3 p.m on Wednesday and a frail-looking woman wearing spectacles and a mask walks into Pillayar Koil Street in Puliyambedu village in Thiruverkadu. She disinfects her hand with sanitiser and till 5 p.m, she teaches little children different subjects.
Meet 51-year-old T. Ezhilarasi, a primary school teacher in Villivakkam Panchayat Union Primary School in Puliyambedu. Over the past 10 days, she has been visiting her students in the village.
There are 99 students in the primary school. I was feeling guilty to take the salary without teaching the children, who I am very fond of. Some of the parents approached me and said that they were concerned about their childrens education. I promised to come to their house and teach them, explains Ms. Ezhilarasi, who has been a teacher for over three decades.
She visits the locality every day and selects an open spot where children can sit. She makes sure that the children wear masks and come for class after washing their hands. I teach students from 1st standard to 5th standard. Some are going to sixth standard and I wanted to brush up their English and maths knowledge. So I make them practise tables and essay writing among other subjects, she says.
Ms. Ezhilarasi also carries some snacks with her. I cannot see my children hungry. So I feed them after the class is over. They were very happy to see me after a long time, she adds.
S. Vasanthi, the mother of twins - S. Hemavathi and S. Hemashri studying in the Puliyambedu school - said that it is very encouraging to see a government school teacher showing interest towards the education of their children. My husband lost his job due to the lockdown and I was worried about the future of my children. I am so happy that the teacher is taking care of their education, she says.
A kind of peace engulfs me when I educate children. It is something only the teaching profession can provide, says Ms. Ezhilarasi.