We all talk about wanting to give back to society, but when an opportunity presents itself, how many of us are willing to walk the talk? Well, there are people like Mukesh Sahay, a man who within a month of retiring as the Director General of Police of Assam has joined the faculty of Guwahati’s Sonaram Higher Secondary School.
Mr Sahay’s change in employment isn’t a matter of chance. The wheels were set in motion back in 2016 when he was invited as the chief guest for one of the school’s functions.
“I told him that we were in need of a Math teacher,” says Mr Dwinjendra Nath Barthakur, the Principal of Sonaram Higher Secondary School. The students of one of Assam’s oldest and the most reputed schools were managing without a regular Math teacher. When he was informed of this, Mr Sahay immediately expressed an interest in taking on the task. “He even asked me to send him textbooks,” recalls Mr Borthakur.
The cop intended to join the school in 2017, but his plans did not materialise because of the demanding nature of his job. His concern and promises were not just empty words. On May 1, 2018, the day after he retired as the DGP, Mr Sahay called Mr Borthakur, and on May 7, he began his new job.
“After my superannuation from the services I called up the principal and volunteered to teach. The principal agreed to allow me to teach as the school was still facing problems finding a Math teacher for higher classes,” Mr Sahay says.
The new teacher is conducting classes under the principal’s supervision. “I am teaching based on the lesson plan given to me. Fortunately, the school has now found a regular Math teacher, so my work has become a little easier,” Mr Sahay says.
This isn’t the former DGP’s first time teaching, as a certified police trainer, he has taught new recruits in the past. He now takes one-hour Calculus lessons every day of the week, and he has asked the school to evaluate his performance as a teacher.
“A new batch of Class XI students will join in a couple of months. Perhaps I will begin to teach two lessons a day when they do. I am quite conversant in Calculus, so it has not been too difficult. But I definitely need to do my homework every day.”
Most employees would take retirement to be a license to never have to work another day, but Mr Sahay seems determined to keep on going. “We never stop learning — one must always be socially relevant, physically active and mentally engaged. If students are benefited by my teaching, I will continue to teach them. I enjoy interacting with young people,” he says, adding that education is the key to transformation.
“I come from a poor family. I was able to become a DGP because my family believed that education was of prime importance and made sure that we went to school,” he says.
Apart from teaching them, Mr Sahay also encourages and motivates students to work hard, participate in extracurricular activities like sport and music, and develop life-building skills. “The government gives me a good pension. It is time for me to give back to society,” the humanitarian says....