Padmaja Ramamurthy continued teaching even after retirement, to nurture the dreams of trafficked children
Normally it is seen, people don’t prefer to work after retirement; seems as if their energy lever automatically retires once they attain the retirement age. But things are different for Padmaja Ramamurthy, who continued to teach the children who have been forgotten by society, even after her retirement.
Padmaja Ramamurthy started her career as a primary school teacher in Bengaluru. She has taught in both government and private schools during the course of a long career. After retirement, Padmaja started working with the APSA Dream School, which works with trafficked children.
During her 13-years of career as a teacher, Padmaja used technology, audio-visual tools, multimedia, etc., to make learning more interesting. When She joined the APSA Dream School as an English teacher, it was a challenging task for her to help the kids clear exams in the subject as the students were mostly from Kannada medium schools. But her unique style of teaching has helped her students shine in the subject.
In government schools, one usually has to dilute even simple things to make the children understand concepts, while in private schools a different approach should be taken, she says.
APSA runs a one year program and offers various courses for trafficked and abandoned children. The program focuses on the child laborers and the children of construction workers. Apart from this, APSA also concentrates on migrant children and focuses on bringing those kids to school, who are left at home by the parents to take care of younger siblings.
At APSA, we get both the elder kid and the younger sibling who might still be a couple of months old. While the elder kid is encouraged to study, our team takes care of the infant. We have cradle facility, soft toys and many activities to keep the kid engaged, says Padmaja Ramamurthy.
Padmaja Ramamurthy is the coordinator of all the programs and plays a key role in implementing all the programs. She wants to make APSA a model school for all the non-formal schools.
There has been a huge change in the attitude of the kids. They had zero self esteem when they first joined, and after the one year course they are very positive, confident and ready to take up challenges, she says.