He may be visually impaired but his work is an eye-opener for all. David, who hails from Ponmudi village near here, was born blind but today runs a one-man primary school for regular students.
Initially, parents were reluctant to send their wards to David's single-teacher government school. But eventually, they got to know the 26-year-old and his spirit and courage won them over. Today, they are proud in the knowledge that their children are in his care. As for David, he thinks nothing of trekking six to seven kilometres through hilly terrain every day to be in the midst of his students, come rain or shine.
Talking about what prompted him to take up teaching, David says: “I studied in a school for the blind where teachers were not visually handicapped. If they could teach a person like me, even a disabled person should be able to teach others.”
For his students, school is a unique experience as David uses Braille to teach them. He also likes to mix it up a little, so the children don’t just get a textbook education. “I don’t want my students to be too bookish. So I always update myself on what's happening around me and impart the same to my students,” he says.
The job isn’t always easy but David has the solution for that too: “Come what may, what you need is the right approach. This will definitely guide you out of any tricky situation.” For instance, education authorities last year had made up their minds to close down the remote school, citing growing economic losses. But when they heard of David’s one-man fight, they had to bow down to that.
But David has bigger dreams. “There are 25 students in my school at present. If I get better infrastructure and more teachers, we can attract more students. I have already sent a proposal to the education department,” he says.