Teacher from Mumbai brings teen ex-student stranded in Satara to her home
With everyone leaving his boarding school, and his daily-wager parents stuck in Hyderabad, Sonu Chavan finds solace in large-hearted Dadar couple's home
How far do you think a teacher would go to ensure the safety and the academic growth of a student? Shubhangi Sansare, a teacher in Navi Mumbai, has set an example by bringing home her former student who was alone at his school in Satara, while his parents were stuck in Hyderabad due to the COVID-19 lockdown. » P10
For Sonu Chandu Chavan, an opportunity to learn not just academic but life lessons, too, while staying with his favourite teacher, was a dream come true.
Shubhangi, a teacher at a Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation school, taught Sonu's class in 2016. However, he had to leave the next year because his parents, daily wage workers, had to leave the city. She then decided to help Sonu enrol in a boarding school for children from underprivileged backgrounds. After changing a few schools, Sonu finally settled at Rayat Shikshan Sanstha School in Satara last academic year.
After the lockdown in March, all children returned home, but Chavan had nowhere to go as his parents were in Karnataka. When Shubhangi learnt about Sonu's situation, her husband Raman drove to his school and brought him to their Dadar home.
"They have been so welcoming of me, and care about my health and all my other needs," Chavan told mid-day. "My teacher is helping me with my weak subject, i.e. English, and with lessons for the next academic year."
Chavan is also getting life lessons from his teacher's husband. "Raman uncle, too, has influenced me by showing me the importance of focussing on a career, while also living a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise," he said, adding that he is grateful to his teacher who has always been there for him since the day they met.
Sonu Chandu Chavan gardening at the residence of his teacher Shubhangi Sansare
"I am also learning gardening by spending time with them on their terrace garden. This has been a wonderful stay, almost like a blessing in disguise."
"Now my parents are in Hyderabad on a construction site. They travelled there from Karnataka with their contractor. But it is not possible for them to come to Maharashtra on their own to pick me up," he said.
Shubhangi said she had realised Sonu was an exceptional student back in 2016. In 2017, he applied for a "school leaving certificate" as his parents had to move. "At such a young age, Sonu was mature enough to think of taking a school leaving certificate so that he can enrol at another school. I was impressed by his sheer willingness and decided to help him in whichever way I can," she added.
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