As schools across the country will be busy celebrating Teachers’ Day on September 5, two teachers – Ravindra Rengad and Pramod Umbersada – will be walking 4 km and then crossing the Tansa river in a raft to reach their school – a daily routine.
The two teachers follow the same path every day to reach the zilla parishad primary school in Borala village, Shahapur taluka, Thane district. The village is located about 80 km from Mumbai. The journey takes about 4 hours.
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“I cannot miss going to school tomorrow. There is a small event at the school on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. We have to be there on time. My students will wait for me with handmade greeting cards and flowers like they do every year,” said Rengad.
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Rengad has been travelling like this to school for eight years. He has built a raft with PVC pipes as boats are not always available.
However, despite this tedious routine, Rengad said that the respect he got from his students was what kept him going.
Rengad and Umbersada both leave home at 6.30 am and reach school between 10.30 to 11 am. “I used to travel like this alone every day. I am happy that the zilla parishad has transferred another teacher here. He has been travelling with me for the past one year.”
Other teachers in the school are from Borala or nearby villages. Rengad and Umbersada travel from Savardev, a tribal village across the river.