The Coronavirus has created an unprecedented crisis across the world. A huge job crisis is looming across the sector. Especially, teachers are on receiving end from last few months. A teacher who has been teaching English from last 30 years is working as a construction worker after losing his job. Paleri Meethal Babu, 55, of Onchiyam in Vadakara, an English teacher, who has taught prose and poetry to scores of students in his 30-year-long career, has picked up the mortar-filled pan and shovel to eke out a living at construction sites.
“I cannot wait indefinitely for the reopening of my college. I have a family to feed,” says Babu, who teaches higher secondary students in a parallel college in Vadakara. He took up concrete work as a helper in mid-May, fetching Rs 750 a day after toiling from 7 am to 3 pm. I have got only seven days work so far,” he said.
His 23-year-old son had completed the civil engineering course and the younger son is in Class 11.
Babu has a home loan to repay and meet the educational expenses of his children. “While studying for degree, I had a brief stint as a helper in road tarring work. That experience made me try my luck in the construction field,” he added.
“I have completed BA in English. While doing SSLC, I ran away to Chennai, unable to cope up with poverty. I got a supplier’s job at a hotel at Mylapore. As there were no Malayalam dailies and magazines, I tried to read English magazines and gradually mastered the language. After completing graduation, my skills in English helped me fetch a job at ‘Sagar’ parallel college in Vadakara,” he said.