A teacher at the zilla parishad school in Shirur taluka’s Pimple Khalsa village got a unique “gurudakshina” from villagers, who gifted her a car after 19 students qualified in an annual government scholarship exam. The results were declared on August 10.
The villagers gifted the car to Lalita Dhumal, who had coached the students, in appreciation of her efforts.
Lalita, speaking to Pune Newsline, said that it was not the first time that villagers had responded the way they have. Four of her colleagues have got the gift in previous years.
“I have been working at this school for several years. Earlier, the villagers used to gift a two-wheeler or fridge or other such items to the teachers. But for the last four years, they have been gifting cars. The villagers are keen that their children excel in studies and, along with us, have taken several steps to improve the standard of education here,” she said.
According to Lalita, although the scholarship exam takes place in Class V, teachers at the school start preparing the students for it a year or two in advance. Even students are very enthusiastic and the results over the last few years have been commendable. Last year, 21 students from the school qualified for the scholarship.
“When students reach Class V, from June itself, we start preparing them. Instead of following the usual 10 am-to-5 pm class timings, we teach the students from 8 am to 6 pm, the three extra hours used for coaching. During Diwali vacations also, we conduct classes from 8 am to 9 pm. We make students solve previous years’ question papers as well. In the last few years, thanks to good results and our efforts, the enrollment at the school has increased substantially and students from English-medium schools also come here for guidance,” she said.
The school currently has around 350 students. Dnyaneshwar Dhumal, chairman of the local school management committee, said that over the last few years, villagers have spent close to Rs 1 crore in updgrading the school.
“Our estimated cost for upgradation is about Rs 2 crore. We have already built a three-storey building, which we plan to convert into five storeys. We have started e-learning facility but now we are a little short of funds. As far as gifting a car goes, parents of students who qualify for the scholarship are the ones who pool in funds to buy the car,” he said.