JAMMU: Son of the soil Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, Teacher Government Primary School, Reasi, Jammu & Kashmir is one of the 44 teachers to receive the National Teacher Award 2021. The special thing is that he is the only teacher to get this honor from Jammu and Kashmir while Muhammad Ali, Acting Head Teacher Govt Middle School, Kargil, Ladakh is also among the awardees.
Sanjeev Kumar Sharma’s achievement is quite unique. In Reasi district of the state, where he is posted in the inaccessible mountainous area Ikhani-Ransu, children do not come to school even on normal days, but during the Corona period, he raised the number of enrolled children in his school from 13 to 70.
Smart-phones are far from ordinary mobiles only with a few families here. In such a situation, Sanjeev went from house to house and connected the children with studies. When there was a chance, classes were also organized for the children of primary in the jungles and fields. That is why today there are 41 children and 29 girls enrolled in his government school.
Sanjeev, who volunteered for posting here in 2019, says that when he reached here for the first time, it was found that to reach the school, one would have to climb 4 kilometers on foot. When they reached the school in heavy rain, they saw that the tin roof of the school had blown away in the strong wind, the classrooms were full of water. He himself started cleaning the school.
Some local people also came along. Sanjeev says that his relationship with the people was formed at the same time. Then there were only 13 children enrolled in the school. The next day, when I took the first class, only 4 children reached the school. To connect the people, he also got his two children admitted in Ikhani Government School itself.
Sanjeev explains – Online class is not possible in the area. When the lockdown was imposed, Sanjeev went from house to house and connected the children with studies. Classes were also held in open fields and forests. Sanjeev, who was a wrestler before the teacher, teaches children through sports and also inspires them to make a career in sports.
President Ram Nath Kovind today awarded the aforesaid 44 unique teachers from all over India with the National Teachers’ Award 2021, on occasion of Teacher’s Day, for their exemplary work in education including the development of innovative methods of teaching to improve school education and enrich the lives of students.
A documentary film on each of the 44 awardees was also shown at the online ceremony.
Addressing the ceremony that took place virtually due to COVID-19, the President said, “I would like to congratulate all the teachers. Knowing about such teachers assures me that the future of the upcoming generation is safe in the hand of such good teachers.”
“We know that Teachers’ Day is celebrated in the memory of Dr Radhakrishnan, who was known as a philosopher and scholar across the world… He wanted to be remembered only as a teacher. He has left an indelible mark as a great teacher,” he added.
As announced by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education RC Meena, the National Awards were given by the President including teachers from Kargil.
The awardees included Mamta Paliwal (GGSSS Bhiwani, Haryana), Kamal Kishore Sharma (Government Senior Secondary School, Kandaghat, Himachal Pradesh), Jagtar Singh (Government Primary School, Khamano, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab), besides others.
Last year, Kovind virtually conferred the National Award to Teachers to 47 awardees on Teachers’ Day.
Teachers’ Day in India is celebrated annually on September 5 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was a renowned scholar, recipient of Bharat Ratna, first Vice- President and second President of independent India. He was born on September 5, 1888.