The INDIAN EXPRESS reports: Abdul, 40, a lower primary school teacher at Padinjattemuri in Malappuram district of Kerala, swims 100 meters to and fro daily to his school.
“I had traveled by road during the first year,” he says. “But it was on the advice of my colleague Bapputty that I started to swim across the river,” says Abdul.
“My family was apprehensive in the beginning, but I was confident that there would not be any problem as I have swum in the river since childhood,” he says.
“The school is surrounded by water on three sides, so it is better to swim rather than depend on any other kind of transportation,” he explains.
If he does not do this, he will have to take a circuitous 24 kilometre road journey. And he would have to change three buses. Also, he would have to leave his house really early.
He carries his clothes, as well as a towel and books in a plastic bag. Once he reaches the banks, he changes into fresh clothes and makes his way to the school.
Abdul’s daily habit provokes curiosity among the students. But he cleverly diverts that curiosity to spark an interest to learn swimming. At present he is coaching a large number of students on how to swim.
“Apart from swimming, we also receive tips from Abdul sir on how to lead a healthy life,” says a student.
According to his own calculations, Abdul will spend more than 1,000 hours in the river before he retires in 2029. He would also have swum 700 kilometers during his entire career of 35 years. It is a unique record which no other teacher in the state, and probably in the country, can lay claim to. More…