Dedicated Teacher Swims Through Polluted River To Get to Students Every Day


Everyone knows teachers are grossly underpaid. Parents consider them glorified babysitters, students consider them an annoyance, and society considers them responsible for the upbringing and education of our children. Teachers are not in their profession for the money or the recognition. They’re in it for the love of teaching, of kids and of making a positive impact in someone’s life. Teachers know they’re not making a positive impact on every life that they reach, but they know that out of every classroom every year, at least one student is forever affected by this person. Teachers are hard-working, dedicated and they are driven. None more so than Abdul Malik, a teacher in South India.

While he lives relatively close to the school at which he works, there are no bridges that allow any mode of transportation to pass over the nearby river and allow him to arrive to school in a timely fashion. The area is very poor and public transportation is unreliable. For Malik to make to school on time, he’d walk 20 minutes to the bus stop and take a 90-minute bus ride; and that’s only if the bus is on time and it’s not so crowded that he can’t get a spot. Yet he’s made it to school every single day, on time, for the past 12 years. How? He swims. He ties his clothes in a plastic bag, wears a tube and swims across the dangerous currents so that he can get to school on time each and every day. He’s never missed.

His students love him. The administration at his school commend them for being more punctual than those who have their own transportation or use public transit. He’s admired and well-liked, and his dedication for his job is second-to-none. He is an inspiration to his students, both current and past, and he has set a good example for those who know him. He is truly an inspiration, and someone who can clearly say he is not in his line of work for anything more than the satisfaction of teaching students and ensuring that they are on target to becoming the kind of people the world needs.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images


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