Mrunal Manmay Dash

A 10 km stretch of road near Sunarui village under Balasore’s Baliapal Block bustled with people on Friday when hundreds of locals and students of Gadadhar Giri Government High School bode farewell to their loving Headmaster, Niranjan Pradhan.

Pradhan retired from active service on March 31 after teaching in that High School for 39 years.

Pradhan touched the lives of every person in the village so well that neither the students nor their parents could accept their favorite teacher’s retirement.

In a bid to show their love and respect for the retired high school headmaster, the students arranged a chariot for Pradhan and gave him a send-off in a huge procession. Hundreds of locals joined the students and attended the farewell ceremony before taking Pradhan to his house 10 km away from the school in a grand procession.

“Pradhan sir is very dear to us. He joined this school in 1983. Since then, he has left an indelible mark in teaching and taught many students to reach greater heights in careers. We do not want him to leave our school,” said a resident of Sunarui village, Harendra Behera.

“Pradhan Sir was like a father to us. When a student did not eat due to some reason, he himself used to come down and made his student eat. He is a good man. We are really hurt by his retirement,” said a student of Gadadhar Giri High School.

Speaking about the grand farewell, Pradhan said, “I am lost for words after seeing their love for me. I never knew the students loved me so much. It is very difficult for a teacher to make a student study without learning their family background and life history. And I think I have managed to do that in my career.”

(Reported by Rashmiranjan Das, OTV)