Chennai, Feb 15 (): “When a teacher pulls you up for not performing, it’s not putting pressure on you but an encouragement to do well in life. She loved her students more than she loved her children. I appeal to all parents to spend quality time with their children, shower them with love and affection as material things are immaterial in life,” R Sangeetha, daughter of slain school teacher Uma Maheshwari who was stabbed by a IX std student in the class room last week, said at a memorial service at St Mary’s Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School on Monday.
“Six days a week she spent time with you and only on Sundays I got to see her,” Sangeetha said with tears rolling down her eyes. “This is an incident which can never be wiped from our hearts, but it is my duty as a daughter to live by the ideals my mother lived for. She was highly religious and spread the word of Christ and lived according to the Bible. Everyone, please keep us in your prayers.”
The principal of the school, Fr Siby Mathew in his tribute said,”When the UN secretary-general died in an air crash in Africa in 1961, one word was written on the floral wreath: “Void”. “We face the same sense of loss,” he added.
“Like a proud soldier, Uma died in the line of duty. It is a matter of pride and honour to speak about her because she was one person who was ready to do any task and who could stand out in a crowd.”
“Whenever there was a shortage of teachers she would come up to me and say, ‘Father, I can take those classes if you want me to,” he recalled.
Sangeetha, who was studying in class 11 at Ebenezer Marcus Matriculation Residential School in Ambattur showed a sign of maturity, while saying the above words. She was accompanied by her 12-year-old sister Janani.
More than 1,000 students had gathered at the school at 8am for what turned out to be a moving memorial for the slain teacher. The hall was packed and the audience remained calm with respect as tributes were paid to the slain teacher.
It was a moving sight when tears rolled down the cheeks of a few students when the hymn ‘How great thou art’ was sung.