03 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: "Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me." This remark of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is apt for a college lecturer from a backward district of Odisha who has been nominated to receive the 'Best Language Teacher of the Year' award at the International Education Awards 2019.
The person mentioned above is Panchanan Duria, a native of Dharmagarh block in Kalahandi district and presently engaged as Lecturer in English at RC College in Kodinga of Nabarangpur district. What is special about this teacher is his initiative that has made hundreds of rural youths comfortable in speaking English.
Duria along with his classmate Lingaraj Pradhan from English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad and Bhakta Charan Bhoi started 'English Support' in the year 2013 to teach English language to rural youths of KBK region with a mission to bring them at par with their urban counterparts.
It was started in an experimental basis but the number of students enrolled for the programme encouraged them to work further on the mission. Years passed and more and more students and faculties across the State and Nation joined the mission.
Though a minimum of Rs 100 to Rs 200 is charged as registration fees for the one month programme, held mostly during summer or Durga Puja vacations, the major expenses for the mission are being borne by Duria and his team from their own pockets. While Duria wishes to extend the duration of the programme, all the faculties have their own personal jobs and can dedicate time to the mission only during the vacations.
Duria had organised a national-level programme last year which was attended by language experts from seven states across India. To his surprise the experts denied to take any honorarium and were glad to be a part of the mission.
It is worthwhile to mention that Duria has also penned a book 'Ripples' used by Class VIII students of CBSE. He was recently felicitated by Citizens Forum Organisation, Kalahandi for his contribution towards empowering rural youths. He is going to receive the 'Best Language Teacher of the Year' award along with prominent educationists, scientists, international celebrities around the globe in Goa on December 21.