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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CIMA Gallary

Dadu who keeps ‘Romeos’ off school

An 80-year-old man who had donated land for a girls’ high school at Salar block in Murshidabad 54 years ago, still comes to the school every day despite being removed from the post of the secretary of managing committee of the school four months ago.

Khadem A. Dastagir, the block Congress president, replaced Abdullah Ansari and assumed the chair of the secretary on June 13. But that does not stand in the way of Ansari’s visit to the school regularly. The school has 1,958 students and 28 teachers.

One finds Ansari seated outside the gate of the school exactly at 9am. The school begins at 11am. He stays there for about four hours looking after the schoolgirls and scolds them if they are indisciplined.

Ansari had donated 2.5 bighas and was the main force behind the setting up of K. K. Girls’ High School at Salar in 1958. He was honoured with the post of the secretary of the managing committee of the school from the beginning.

“I will visit the school everyday till my death. It is the love and affection for my children that draws me to the school,” says Ansari who lost his wife Fauznan Nahar in 1971. His only daughter got married in Dhaka in 2000.

“Ansari Dadu sits outside the gate of the school as usual to protect us girls from the Romeos who come to tease us. We keep coming to school by 9am even though the teachers come at 11am. His presence keeps the Romeos away. We spend time talking to him till the teachers come. We love his company,” said Tanbir Paria, a student of Class X.

Headmistress of the school Naznin Afroza Banu, who joined in 2003, said: “He (Ansari) loves the students like a father. All the teachers respect him. We also remain safe from unnecessary outside troubles.”

“Even though I was a known Congress supporter throughout my life, the Left Front did not think of removing me from the post in the past 34 years. I have no regrets. This time the majority opinion in the managing committee went against me,” Ansari said.

Khadem A. Dastagir, who replaced him on June 13, said: “Many members of the managing committee wanted a change. He is 80 years old but all of us respect his contribution to the school and his devotion to work.”