The Lives They Live

From kampung school teacher to community volunteer

Photos from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s of Madam Rajalaximi when she was a teacher. The former Tamil language teacher began her career at Boon Lay Primary School in 1966. Madam G. Rajalaximi, who retired from teaching in 2011, now volunteers at Projec
Madam G. Rajalaximi, who retired from teaching in 2011, now volunteers at Project Smile, a charity that helps underprivileged women by providing vocational training in skills such as sewing and making jewellery and handicraft. Helping out at Project Smile gives her meaning, she says, and the 71-year-old now spends her Saturdays contributing her services at the charity's premises in Serangoon Road.ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI
Photos from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s of Madam Rajalaximi when she was a teacher. The former Tamil language teacher began her career at Boon Lay Primary School in 1966. Madam G. Rajalaximi, who retired from teaching in 2011, now volunteers at Projec
Photos from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s of Madam Rajalaximi when she was a teacher. The former Tamil language teacher began her career at Boon Lay Primary School in 1966. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

While the pioneer leaders were the original architects of Singapore, everyday heroes helped build society here. This is another story about such people in the series The Lives They Live.

She was, by her own reckoning, shy and nervous and lucky to be accepted when, barely out of secondary school, she applied to be a teacher.

Eighteen-year-old G. Rajalaximi found it tough when she started as a teacher at Boon Lay Primary School in 1966, with some students barely four years younger than her.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2018, with the headline 'From kampung school teacher to community volunteer'. Print Edition | Subscribe