Geography teacher

Making the break

Looking at satellite pictures of the little town of Idupulapadu in East India, one can recognise some streets and houses. Apparently they are also two temples and a high school. Perhaps, if one would look closer one might also find the house of Nuthalapati Vijay Kumar’s parents – it is a hut plastered with mud and covered with straw. There are a lot of these in the village. It doesn’t matter whether one takes a closer look or observes it from a distance – Idupulapadu is not really an ideal stepping stone for a sound professional education. However, with the help of wortundtat, Nuthalapati was able to make the break to the next bigger city, having become teacher at the school he himself went to as a child.

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Hunger and poverty affected his childhood

Looking at satellite pictures of the little town of Idupulapadu in East India, one can recognise some streets and houses. Apparently they are also two temples and a high school. Perhaps, if one would look closer one might also find the house of Nuthalapati Vijay Kumar’s parents – it is a hut plastered with mud and covered with straw. There are a lot of these in the village. It doesn’t matter whether one takes a closer look or observes it from a distance – Idupulapadu is not really an ideal stepping stone for a sound professional education. However, with the help of wortundtat, Nuthalapati was able to make the break to the next bigger city, having become teacher at the school he himself went to as a child.

When he was a child, Nuthalapati and his parents and three siblings lived in quite poor conditions. The money his parents earned from occasional jobs, was hardly enough for the daily needs such as food, clothing or medicine. The family often went hungry and there was no money for a doctor if one of them fell ill. The hut comprised one single room, which was hardly big enough for all of them being together. There was no running water and even 20 years after leaving, Nuthalapati still regards the ever-present poverty as the greatest problem of his early childhood.

The school in the village, which then had only about 2,000 residents, could hardly be called a school: no adequately furnished classrooms with blackboard, tables and chairs, no schoolyard at all – just a shell. 60 children were crammed into one classroom and according to what Nuthalapati remembers the teacher hardly had the energy and maybe not any interest to teach the pupils. “Only a few of us learned to write numbers and letters in Telugu, our language”, he describes the result.

Leaving home at six

His parents heard of AMG, the wortundtat partner, which in Chilakaluripet, about 40 kilometres away from his village, ran a large boarding school. They enrolled Nuthalapati at the age of six and the initial period left him with a whole variety of impressions. “I very much liked the atmosphere at the school, the other children, the opportunities to play – and of course the good meals. What I didn’t like at all was the fact that I no longer could see my parents regularly”, remembers the 27-year old.

However, in the long run, other aspects became more dominant, when he thinks of his time at the boarding school. “I don’t think I would have achieved any spiritual growth at my local school”, says Nuthalapati. However, at the boarding school, the same value was attached to this aspect as to the development of the entire personality of the pupils. And even though his parents had already been Christians, reading and interpreting the Bible and the Christian faith gained great importance in the new environment of the young pupil. “Today, I love reading the Bible. The Message, that God accepts me the way I am, also influences my thinking and how I treat others”.

Returning to boarding school as a teacher

He remained at boarding school for nine years and then graduated from a secondary school and a business college. He completed his teacher training at AMG in Chilakaluripet. There – in the boarding school he went to as a child – he found a job as a teacher some time ago. He teaches pupils between five and eleven English and Social Studies. “I am very happy that I can work here, being part of educational facilities, from which I benefited as a child. I want to help pupils to become good citizens and to find good work and a sound foundation for their future life.”

Having the income he has now achieved, he is able to lead a life which fulfils many of the requirements, which seemed to be out of reach when he was a child.