People who call women weak, need to meet 49-year-old Binodini Samal, who hails from Jaripal village (Odisha).
Recently the whole country came forward to applaud her courage and determination towards her job.
Binodini Samal, who works at Rathiapal Primary School, teaches children from Class 1 to 3.
But, what sets her apart is the fact that to reach her school, she crosses the Sapua river every day. And, even neck-deep waters couldn’t break the spirit of this teacher or become an excuse to skip school.
She started teaching as a contractual teacher in 2008 with a salary of only Rs.1,700 per month.
While talking to HT about her love for her job, she shared:
“For me, work matters more than anything else. What would I do sitting at home.”
“I always keep a spare set of saree, petticoat, and blouse in school almirah. While crossing the river, I keep my mobile phone and other necessary items in a plastic bag and keep it overhead while swimming through the river.
I change into the school uniform of pink saree after reaching school all wet and soggy. I repeat the routine while going home. Even though I have fallen sick sometimes, I have never taken a day off.”
In monsoons, crossing the river gets really dangerous.
Hence, a few years back there was a proposal for building a bridge. But what is saddening is that the work on it hasn’t even started.
“Two years ago, I was thrown off-balance by the river current and drifted away for some time until I found solid ground. That day my vanity bag was completely wet.”
Her family is quite concerned with her struggles but she says,
“I don’t tell them about the risks I have to undertake.”
We are sure, like us, you must be applauding her courage and determination.
But, what will break your heart is that despite her efforts, her current salary is only Rs.7,000 per month.
Though her job should have been regularised after working for 8 years in 2016 and her salary should have bumped to Rs.27,000. But, sadly that hasn’t happened.
It pains to see how unfairly she has been compensated for her hard work to build the future of our country.
We hope that the authorities take note of her determination & persistence and compensate her fairly.
Because a country that fails to value its teachers, fails to value its future!