Teachers were once the most respected person in villagesAbout six or seven decades back, in villages in Kerala, teachers were most respected individuals. It is not just because being teacher, but because he/she only could help the people in various ways. Majority of the people in villages were not knowing how to read and write. Hence these people had to depend on teachers for help. In most villages, the postman would visit once or twice during a week. If anybody got a letter from sons or brothers working in distant places, very often in the military, they would wait for the only teacher who would come by night or at the weekend.
People needed the help of the teacher not only for reading the letters but also for sending a reply. A teacher used to help them for getting done certain of their needs from the Govt. offices. When money orders came from relatives working in distant places, again the teacher's help is sought. During their free time, the teachers would help by reading newspapers and conveying the news to others.
With all these, no village could forget a teacher during some special functions at their homes. This might have been in most of the villages across the country. However, now things are different. Most of the villagers are educated. And, a teacher is just one among them.