Telugu teacher sells fruits after being laid off; former students raise funds to help

COVID-19 has changed the lives of many people worldwide.

These extraordinary times have given us stories of both hope and despair, this one has a bit of both.

Venkatasubbaiah, teacher for 15 years, recently lost his job at Narayana School in Nellore on account of not meeting admission targets. Venkatasubbaiah had taught Telugu to high school students for nearly 15 years. Despite the lockdown, he had continued teaching his students through online classes. However, for the past three weeks, he has been forced to set up a banana stall, having lost his job during the pandemic.

As the news reached his former students, they launched a campaign to help him out.  A total amount of Rs 86,300 was raised by around 150 students whom Venkatasubbaiah had taught half a decade ago.

Venkatasubbaiah was quoted saying that “Selling bananas is a temporary job. If so many former students from years back wanted to help me, I surely must have made an impact as a teacher. I want to go back to teaching eventually, even if it pays less.”

As the pandemic started taking its toll in India, online classes were scheduled in Narayana school from Mar 29 onwards. The school management recently organised an online conference with Venkatasubbaiah and five of his colleagues. They were told that their services were no longer required, the reason being that their “performance had been unsatisfactory.”


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However,  the school board was not referring to his teaching abilities, but his sources to bring in new admissions to the school during the pandemic. “They told us there was no need to work anymore, that we were of no use as we were not bringing in admissions”.

Allegedly, Venkatasubbaiah and his colleagues were told that anyone could do their jobs and students could just read their textbooks.

Venkatasubbaiah who has 2 Masters degrees in Public Administration & Telugu was going through adversities. Most of his friends and colleagues have returned to their villages after running out of ways to earn in the city. A former student’s father helped Venkatasubbaiah by allowing him to sell his banana produce.


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