Teacher Suresh B Chalageri scales a hill to get to school. For almost eight years now, the dedicated teacher has trekked everyday to be able to reach his school, carrying books and food grain, covering a distance of 8 km. In fact, he is the only reason the Byrapura Lower Primary School continues to function.
According to a report in The Times Of India, the school was in a state of utter chaos when Suresh, 50, was first posted there. The school is located atop the hill in Byrapura village of Gajendragada taluk in Karnataka’s Gadag district. While the famous Kalakaleshwar temple is situated at the foothills, the hilltop is home to many of families from the Lambani tribe, who are largely shepherds. Most children from the tribe depend upon the government school for their education.
Recalling the time when he was transferred to the school, Suresh told The Times Of India, “I had no clue where it was. I just knew that the landmark is Kalakaleshwar temple. After alighting from the bus, when I enquired about the school, I was told there is no option but to climb the hill.”
Arduous in the beginning, the journey became a part of his life. Day after day, Suresh ascends and descends the hill with his undying passion to educate his students and provide them with a better future, carrying books, stationery, as well as ration for the children’s midday meals. He has been given a two-wheeler recently that has made his life easier.
The government school has an annual enrolment of 60 students. “It is my responsibility to ensure the number doesn’t dip. The school has three teachers but I am running the show – juggling the roles of headmaster, teacher, cleaner and plumber, ” he said.