Students and mentors of Ranchi Women’s College celebrate Teachers’ Day on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
No, Teachers’ Day is not about a spurt in sales of greeting cards, rosebuds and pen sets, thank you very much.
Some of the biggest boys of business in the capital — banks and hotels — are cashing in on the day India honours its teachers to mark the birth anniversary of former President and mentor Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.
In the capital, Teachers’ Day has joined the bandwagon of big business opportunity like Durga Puja, Diwali, Id, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Dhanteras Rakhi, Rathyatra, Valentine’s Day, Friendship Day and even Mother’s Day.
A well-known bank sent an SMS to customers asking them to celebrate the Teachers’ Day with exciting offers on personal loans. The offer, by the way, was “just for teachers”.
Top-notch hotels of the city that offered food discounts to teachers between 10 and 20 per cent included, among others, Hotel Landmark, Hotel Golden Tulip and Hotel Chanakya BNR.
Umesh Behera, front office manager of Hotel Golden Tulip, said they were offering a 10 per cent discount.
“This is truly a special occasion. We want teachers and students to enjoy our sumptuous lunch and dinner at discounted rates,” he said, adding a good number did avail the offer.
Echoing Behera’s view, resident manager of Hotel Chanakya BNR Sudhir Mishra said they were offering a 20 per cent discount.
“It’s our way of honouring the teaching community,” Mishra said.
F&B manager of Hotel Landmark, Kaushik Gupta said a group of 20 teachers had visited them for buffet lunch. “Our rate is Rs 375 per plate but we reduced it by Rs 50 for each as our tribute to teachers on this very special day,” he smiled.
Teachers, not used to the glitzy attention, are also smiling but a tad cautiously.
“Entrepreneurs are free to use any occasion to promote business. They are surely not offending us,” said a teacher who did not wish to be named.
There was a time when schoolchildren gave flowers and cards to teachers. These slowly changed to diaries and pen sets. With liberalisation and a huge change in attitudes, gifts “to win affection” became more grand, raising serious questions of ethics.
Finally, most capital schools of repute prohibited students from individually gifting teachers. Nowadays, at most cradles, the school management takes it upon itself to treat teachers.
But this year’s commercial celebrations may have a long innings. Many well-known products and services may take the cue next year.
Some tributes were heartfelt. A home furnishing establishment sent greeting cards to many teachers in Ranchi. It didn’t promote any product or offers but eulogised teachers through quotes and attached a gift coupon with it.
“Maybe the owner has a soft corner for teachers. Else, he may have felt that if teachers visit his showroom for the gift and get impressed by other items there, he will get more customers,” quipped a teacher.