A Rajput community-dominated village found a unique way to reward Ishwar Patel, a teacher who recently retired after 35 years’ of service at a school in Bhada village of Surat district.
In a rare collective show of affection and love towards a teacher, the entire village came together and handed over Rs 2 lakh in cash to Patel last month, and bore the entire expense of his daughter’s wedding held last weekend.
Patel, who traces his tribal roots to Ambach village in Valsad, had made Bhada his home three decades ago. A month ago, Patel retired as principal of a panchayat-run government school in Kamrej taluka.
“All the villagers had remained present for the farewell function of our dearest teacher that was held on the school premises. He spent his entire professional life in our village, teaching our children. For the farewell, we collected money from each and every household in the village and we handed over Rs 2 lakh in cash to him. The same day, we also announced that all the villagers would take upon responsibility of marrying off Patel’s daughter Chhaya,” said Mukesh Chawda, a villager.
On Saturday, hundreds of villagers from Bhada travelled all the way to Ambach village with truck-load of household items and jewellery to be gifted to Chhaya who is coincidentally a teacher at a school in Kolwad village of Kamrej taluka.
Talking to The Indian Express, Ishwar Patel said, “I never expected such love and affection from the villagers of Bhada. I have no word to express my feelings. They asked me not to spend a single penny for the wedding.”
Janak Chawda, a villager, said, “Our motive behind doing such thing is to spread a message in the society that it should give similar respect to all the teachers.”