Students gift house to teacher as mark of respect

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Namakkal (Tamil Nadu), Aug 31 (ANI): In a unique and loving gesture, students presented a house to their former teacher at Gurusamypalayam village in Tamil Nadu.

Eighty-three-year-old Soballapuram V Venkataraman, who has been living in a rented run-down house at the village in Namakkal district even after 25 years of retirement with his aged wife and a widowed daughter, will now have a new place to live.

Venkataraman will soon shift into the new house, which is spacious and much larger than his present accommodation.

The house, built in an area of 1,200 square feet, is nearly ready and will be formally gifted to the guru on the 'Teachers' Day' on September 5.

Venkataraman says even though his students have been successful in life he never ever expected anything like this from them. He recalls he never complained about his financial problem to them. However, he said he was overwhelmed by this gesture.

"I have been teaching from 1954 to 1985 for 32 years. And during the course of my teaching profession, I have taught about nearly 1,500 students. Many of them are now working as industrialists, doctors, engineers, senior administrative officers," said Venkataraman.

Venkataraman taught Tamil language at the Sengunthar Mahajana Higher Secondary School at Gurusamypalayam village and inspired many of his students with his knowledge of poetry and oratory.

Two years ago when his former students came to meet him, they were sad to know about his living conditions, and the financial debt he incurred for the marriage of his two daughters.

Even though he receives a monthly pension of Rs.9,000, it's inadequate to meet the daily expenses of his family, let alone living a better life.

The students who had achieved success and made it in their professional life decided to alleviate their loving teacher's suffering in their own unique way.

"We took up a list of our old students, we collected their addresses, and we printed a small notice and sent it to them. The old students responded and we were able to collect nearly 10 lakh. We constructed this house. We are very much pleased to hand over this house as 'Guru Niwas' to our teacher as a 'gurudakshina'," said Dr Mohan Raj, a physician and former student of Venkataraman.

Money was sent by students who are now settled in various parts of the country. It took two years to build a two-storey house at the cost of Rs 10 lakh. By Jai Kumar (ANI)

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