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Lockdown: English teacher works as coolie for a living

Friday, May 22, 2020 • Malayalam Comments

Palerimeetha Babu, an English teacher who became jobless after the nationwide lockdown came into force following the coronavirus outbreak, is now a coolie worker at a construction site. Babu was working as a teacher at a parallel college in Vatakara for 30 years. But with the lockdown, Babu has been struggling to make two ends meet.

As he has been facing adversities ever since his 10th grade, Babu decided to go back to his old job at a daily wage construction worker. “I was clueless about my life when I moved to Chennai while studying in 10th standard. In Chennai, I worked at a tea stall run by Onchiyam native CK Chathu in Mylapore. After completing the work, I used to read English newspapers. My colleague Thikkodi native Rajan helped me to understand the meaning of English words. After 4 years, I became almost fluent in English reading English magazines and newspapers,” Babu narrated his story.

After returning to Kerala, Babu completed his SSLC and passed BA English from a Government college with the help of sponsors. However, he also worked at construction sites and got engaged in other jobs too. Knowing his expertise in the language, Babu was offered to work as an English teacher at a Parallel College. He worked there for 18 years and then at various other parallel colleges for 12 years. Though he earned a good income initially, when the number of students declined, his income got reduced. However, he is hopeful that the situation will get back to normal.

Talking about how he got this construction site job, Babu said, “My friend PT Sasi, a contractor offered the job at a construction site after realizing my financial problems. I accepted the offer after my wife Anitha Kumari also supported me. As I am 55 years old now, I am not having the energy which I had while working in the construction site when I was a student. But Sasi is supporting me a lot." Babu who has his two sons - Arjun and Parthiv.

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