The story of Malamma, a young girl from Kopal district in Karnataka, has reached even the PMs ears. Why? Because her revolutionary spirit led people around her to recognize the need for sanitary requirements. She says she was inspired to go on a 3 day fast when her mother refused to build a toilet in their home due to the lack of money. Monetary assistance is no excuse for open defecation, in Malammas world. Her protest led many to rethink how theyve conventionally lived. She thanks her teacher, Sevlela, and cites her as her inspiration. Malamma wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Sevlela Maam belives that it was the Prime Ministers clarion call of Swachh Bharat that motivated her and other teachers to teach their students the same ideals. Every Morning Prayer comprised of these goals, so that students, too, go understand the need for cleanliness. Mohammad Shafi, the president of the Gram Panchayat, too helped with his speeches. Sevlela maams message is clear: schools are the ideal space for such important education; theyre where the sharp minds reside. Good messages can be absorbed in schools easily.
This Teachers Day, Jan Ki Baat celebrates the power of a teacher as a guide, confidante and counsellor of the students. Sevlela is just one such example of how a single individual can brings about a reform. Malamma, the receptive, keen student was able to transfer the knowledge her mentor gave her onto others. As she says. I felt it was necessary to build toilets for my self-respect.
Women empowerment as well as mentorship, are both exemplified by the Malamma and Sevlela relationship. It is ultimately in the individuals hands to make an impact, however small it is. Malamma has done her part and she continues to educate those that arent.