When Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi was speaking after inaugurating a science lab in a school in his constituency, it was the image of a young girl that stole the limelight. She was confidently translating his speech without any hiccups. The young girl is 17-year-old Safa Febin of the Government Higher Secondary School - Karuvarakundu in Malappuram.
On his three-day visit to his constituency, Rahul reached the school to inaugurate the new lab. “He had begun his speech in English. Most of us senior students understand English, but several smaller students do not. Maybe realising that he asked us if there was anyone who would be willing to translate his speech. He had not come with a translator. Our MLA Anil Kumar and KC Venugopal were there, but Rahul Gandhi said that he would like it if any of us translated his speech,” said Safa.
The Class XII student said that her friends and teachers encouraged her to try to translate it. “It was a decision taken in the spur of the moment. That is how I decided to go up on the stage. He was extremely considerate, and I think he slowed down and made it easier especially because I am a student,” underscored Safa.
“I feel, the most important point about Rahul Gandhi’s speech was that he asked us all to remain curious all our lives. He said children have this trait to be curious, they ask questions, but as we grow up, we all lose this trait as we grow older. It is the essence of being a human being. A child is always looking to understand the world around them. Every child has a scientific temper in them. We need to cultivate that. No child has hatred in them. Hatred and anger are the two components which destroy scientific temper. This is important,” pointed out Safa, who hopes to pursue her graduation in Chemistry.
“After the speech, Rahul Gandhi congratulated me and told me that I should continue to have this confidence. I am such glad that I got to share a dais with him and got to shake his hand. He is the best Parliamentarian that Wayanad could have got. He has promised that he will raise all our issues and he has been raising several of our issues,” underscored Safa, whose father is a teacher in a Madrassa.
In his speech, he encouraged the students to use the lab to their benefit. He said he hoped that several of the students from the school would hopefully run companies, join politics, become lawyers or doctors, but he asked the students to never lose their scientific temper.
“Respect other people’s views. Encourage others. That is the foundation of science. We know that the schools in Kerala are the best in the country but not good enough. Recently, there was an incident where a young girl died due to snakebite in a school. The state government and the central government should take note and help improve the infrastructure of these schools,” asserted Rahul Gandhi and exhorted teachers to allow students to ask difficult questions.
The Wayanad MP is in his constituency for a four-day visit. He will be inaugurating a project in Kodenchery Grama Panchayat at Mariyam Auditorium, Thiruvambadi and cultural conference at Mahadeva Temple, Kodencherry on December 5. On December 6, he will visit Sarvajana HSS School in Suthan Bathery, where the snakebite episode occurred On the last day of his visit on December 7, he will meet with 400 newly-trained disaster management volunteers at the Kalpetta district auditorium and distribute the ''Muttathe Mulla'' loan to SHG's (Kudumbashree) by Manathawadi farmer's service co-operative bank