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Teachers’ Day: time to renew the bond

“There are two kinds of teachers — the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just give you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies,” goes a famous saying by American poet Robert Frost. On the eve of Teachers’ Day, three prominent personalities of the state walk down the memory lane and remember the contributions of their teachers inspiring them to succeed in life

“I still acknowledge the contribution of my teachers, particularly three from school, whose guidance has shaped my career and life. I studied in a village school and not any English medium school. Kumudini Mohapatra, the primary school teacher at Balijhti UP School under Bhuban block in Dhenkanal district, encouraged me to concentrate on studies. The guidance and affection that she showered on me inspired me to pursue higher studies. The headmaster of Balijhti UGME School, Prafulla Pradhan, who taught us English and mathematics, was responsible for my grooming. He continues to visit me in my office and guides me during trying times. Birabara Mishra, another teacher of Gram Panchayat Pallaspitha High School, taught me mathematics and science. His sincere efforts that students should be sound in their basics helped me a lot in life.”

Pradeep Kumar Jena,
principal secretary of energy and information and public relations

“When I think about my teachers, the memories largely centre around punishment, as I was a very naughty kid. In all the three schools that I went to (I was not rusticated, my father had a transferable job!), there was hardly any teacher that I really liked. However, when I enrolled in Ravenshaw Collegiate School, I found the physical education trainer, Rabindra sir very inspiring. He was the one who spotted talent in me and recommended my name for the school cricket team. At that time, I could not afford cricket gear, but he provided me everything from the school. It was due to his personal attention and persuasion that my cricketing career actually took shape. Another favourite teacher is my first coach, Prashant Mohanty of Saheed Sporting, Cuttack. He honed my skills and exposed me to professional cricket. The contribution of these two teachers has been immense in making me the person I am. They were the happiest when I made it to the Ranji side and then into the IPL. I know for a fact that they will always guide me and advise me when I need it the most.”

Biplab Samantaray,
Ranji cricketer and member of IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad

“There are two teachers from my school whom I always remember on September 5. Jagabandhu Patnaik and Sheikh Mohammed Ali of Gadabandha Goda UP School, Keonjhar, were the ideal teachers. They were every student’s favourites. Apart from their way of teaching and addressing the issues of students, their simple lifestyle influenced me the most. They did not believe in preaching, rather ensured that their words translated in their deeds. I have taught in various colleges for 19 years and I have never seen any teacher like Jagabandhu sir or Ali sir. Such simple and inspiring people are rarely found these days.”

Badri Narayan Patra,
minister of higher education and former lecturer