49-year-old Roohi Sultana was conferred with the national award by President of India Ram Nath Kovind. She is a teacher at the Boys Middle School, Kashipora in the outskirts of Srinagar. Roohi was selected for her unconventional teaching method of using household waste as teaching tools. There were 107 nominees of the award.
Roohi has pursued postgraduation in Urdu and the Kashmiri language. Other than that, she is also a renowned calligraphy artist. Roohi was among the 47 people who received the National Teachers Award from across the country. Also Read: 20-year-old Kashmir girl gets commercial pilot’s license
She said that she can’t express her happiness. She thanks her students for cooperating with her and adapted her style of teaching. She is also grateful of the education department and her family who supported her to go through various challenges throughout this journey.
Roohi wanted to adopt “play way” techniques of teaching which she learned in a course by the National Council of Educational Research and Training for her students. But the main problem was that tools required in this technique were not affordable by her students as they come from underprivileged background.
So Roohi decided to experiment and make education tools from household items. She started collecting scraps and littered items including mango seeds, chips wrappers, soap covers, empty tetra packs, plastic bottles and even thermocol packing material to modify them into various tools.
She would spend her days collecting all these littered items and think about their modification to make them into something which she could use to teach her students. I would ask shopkeepers and for empty plastic bottles, and biscuit and toffee wrappers. Also Read: Post offices in J&K to deliver justice to common people
She would take all these littered items to her home, wash and dry them. She used thermocol as a chart, plastic bottles were painted with alphabets, and soap and chips wrappers were used to explain mathematics to students.
Roohi has always had a passion for teaching. She wishes to see major reforms in the education sector. She believes that there has to be a physical, mental and cognitive development among children. She clarified that she has not been doing all these experiments to earn fame but to better perform her role as a teacher. Also Read: A story of Kashmir’s first woman cricket bat manufacturer