Students Fought Teacher's Transfer With Tears. Their Plea Was Heard

The outpouring of love and support for G Bhagawan has prompted officials to temporarily halt his transfer.

Students Fought Teacher's Transfer With Tears. Their Plea Was Heard

G Bhagawan teaches Class 6-10 students English at the Government High School in Tamil Nadu's Veliagaram

In a country that has a rich tradition of honouring the special relationship between teachers and students, G Bhagawan's story has, unsurprisingly, struck a chord with many. Mr Bhagawan, who teaches English at a government school in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvallur district, was recently transferred to another school. Photos and video of tearful students protesting their teacher's transfer went viral after a report by Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai TV. The outpouring of love and support for the teacher, who was in tears himself, has prompted officials to temporarily halt Mr Bhagawan's transfer.

Mr Bhagawan, 28, teaches students from Class 6 to Class 10 at the Government High School in Veliagaram. His transfer was routine and based on teaching hierarchy, reported Times of India quoting an education department official. But it was a decision that was protested by students and parents alike, many of whom say Mr Bhagawan is valued for his contributions both within the classroom and outside of it.

"We don't want him to be transferred. He has been one of the most supportive staff members and has been like a brother to many of us," a student named Nithya told Times of India.

A video tweeted by news agency ANI shows the young teacher swarmed by emotional students physically trying to stop him from leaving. Mr Bhagawan is overcome with emotion as well. 
The viral video moved many on social media. "Never seen such things before... The bond should be like this between a guru and student," wrote one person. "Proud of this teacher - must be doing something different and right," wrote another. 

Mr Bhagawan, who has taught at the school for four years, told The News Minute this was his first job as a teacher. 

"This is my first ever job in a school. I was appointed as a graduate teacher in Government High School, Veliagaram in 2014. Actually, if you look at the teacher-student ratio I was a surplus staff. So they decided to put me in another school that was short-staffed and I got transferred to Tiruttani," he said.

"I have tried my best to interact with students beyond just academics. I used to narrate stories, understand their family background, talk to them about their future, and show them things via the projector... It's probably because of all these new things I tried to do that we developed a real bond. More than a teacher, I'm a friend, a brother to them," Mr Bhagawan told The News Minute.

"They were hugging and crying and clutching my foot refusing to let me go. Watching them, I broke down," Mr Bhagawan said.

The students even decided to skip school on Tuesday to take a firm stand against their teacher's transfer.

"We have requested the (education) department if there is a possibility of retaining the teacher. He is one of the best teachers we have, completely involving himself in teaching students. During special classes that would go beyond school hours, he would help in arranging food for students and had been overall very friendly," the school's principal, A Aravind, told Times of India. 

For now, it seems like the students' protest just may have worked. The News Minute reports Mr Bhagawan's transfer has been halted for 10 days. 
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