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25 May 2024

Breast cancer claims life of Indian school teacher in UAE

By V M Sathish

Teachers, parents and students of an Indian school in Abu Dhabi have been saddened by the death of their school teacher on Saturday, after she struggled with breast cancer for almost a year.

Rekha Rajeev (47), a teacher of Al Noor Indian Islamic School in Abu Dhabi, was undergoing treatment at Vellore Medical College, in India’s Tamil Nadu state for almost a month after she was sent to India for medical treatment.

“We are all saddened by the death of Rekha who was a very silent and co-operative teacher. She was class teacher for the third standard and since she had health problems, we relieved her from this responsibility.

“It was exactly a month ago that she took one month’s medical leave for treatment at Vellore Medical College. Today she is no more,” said Mohammed Haris, principal of the school.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7 over telephone, he said the morning school assembly was followed by a condolence meeting in which students remembered their departed teacher. Special prayers were said for the deceased. “We will miss the hard working teacher,” the principal added.

The school has about 1500 students and nearly 100 staffers.

“We will have another condolence meeting today afternoon of nearly 100 staffers including 90 teachers. Our school’s chairman Bava Haji will be presiding over the meeting. Two senior teachers from the school will attend her funeral which will take place in Kerala on Tuesday,” said the principal.

Rekha had been working at school for six years and her husband Rajeev is a transport administrator in Our Own School, Abu Dhabi. Their two children, Lijal and Laija, are students of the emirate’s Sunrise School and Our Own School.

“This is the first time that a working teacher of the school is dying of breast cancer and lung diseases. About seven years ago another teacher had died after she left the school. The young teacher was suffering from a health problem and resigned just before her death,” school sources said.

Friend and classmates of Rekha’s two young daughters are also grieving the death of their friend’s mother..
Rekha hailed from Paika near Kumbala in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala state. Her last rites will be held at CSI Church, Poyka, Kumbala on Tuesday. 

The deceased teacher’s brother, who works in the USA, has arrived in Kerala to oversee her funeral. Other family members including her husband and two daughters are also in Kerala, preparing for her funeral.