Abhijith N Kolpe
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Bantwal, Apr 21: Education is the birthright of every child. Yet, poverty prevents thousands of children from attending school. In this dismal scenario, a government
school in Dakshina Kannada was on the verge of closing down. And a little known man, Prakash Anchan came to its rescue.
Situated at Daddalkadu, a semi-rural area of Bantwal taluk, the school was facing acute shortage of students as it was a Kannada medium school. Prakash and his friends came together and put it back on the tracks of recovery.
New school building
A year ago, Sri Durga Friends Club, led by Prakash undertook a project of constructing a new school building with 14 rooms and other facilities worth Rs 1.5 crore for students. With the project now completed, the new building is all set to be inaugurated in a grand function on April 22 and 23. The new two storey building consist 14 class rooms and a separate smart class room for the students. Two new separate toilets worth Rs 5 lac have also been constructed in the school premises.
District in-charge minister Ramanath Rai will inaugurate the building and Sri Mohandas Paramahamsa Swamiji will bless the premises. Chief of Public TV H R Ranganath, union minister Rajeev Prathap Rudy, MP Ananth Kumar, state minister Ramesh Jigajanagi, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary, MLC Ganesh Karnik and other dignitaries will take part in the grand function.
Prakash Anchan - the survivor
In his own life, Prakash had faced many hardships. Due to difficulties at home, he could pursue schooling only up to Class 7. Presently, he runs a textile shop on the outskirts of Bantwal. He is also the member of Sri Durga Friends Club, Karenki which has 88 members. As part of its social service activities, the group had earlier helped to build a compound wall for Amtadi School and Rayi School respectively.
When they noticed that the government school of Daddalkadu was on the verge of closure, Prakash Anchan led the friends club to take charge of saving the school. Prakash says, he owes gratitude to his brother Shekar Anchan and his club members who are behind the success.
Student strength - from 30 to 230
In August 2015, the school had only 30 students. But Prakash and his brother along with his friends shifted the children from English medium and got them enrolled at the government school. This took their number to 56. Today, the school is growing strength to strength and has 230 students studying from LKG to Class 8.
Prakash also sought permission with the education department to convert the medium of instruction to English. The club entered into a five year agreement with the government to run the school in various competences.
The school had only five government appointed teachers. After initiation, the club recruited nine teachers. School uniform, shoes and transport facility are provided free of cost with the help of donors and friends club. Students are benefited with several extra curriculum activities such as Karate, Yoga and others.
‘Prakash – a noble soul’
“Prakash has enlightened us all and upgraded the school. Credit also goes to the teachers for their supportive and encouraging temperament throughout. Block Education Officer Sheshashayana Karinja stood firm in helping the school to grow,” says Maurice D’Souza, the head master of the school.
“Prakash is one of the most respected personality and God’s gifts to this locality. He is a true educationist who prioritized saving Kannada Medium from getting closed. He has led from the front and has been an inspiration to many people all over,” says teacher Hilda Fernandes.
It is enthralling to watch the way the school has improved. Children are active and the teaching level surprises you. Teachers converse in Kannada and English with the children so as to make the students comfortable in both the languages. People can notice the arts, crafts and pictures which proves their deep involvement in extra-
curricular activities. A good thing about the school is the bonding between teachers and children, which really fascinates everyone.
All credit to Prakash, who made the school to survive all its battles. With the sole aim of saving the school, he has given it a fresh lease of life.