Nearly a decade ago, a Kannada medium school in Bantwal of Karnataka was on the verge of closing down, as more and more students started dropping out. A majority of the school's students came from underprivileged families and, being first-generation schoolgoers, they did not find any incentive to attend class.
That is when two teachers - Radhakrishna Nayak (45) and Nooruddin GM (47) from the school - Darul Islam Aided Higher Primary School decided to step in and change the scenario. For nine years now, the duo have been driving half of the school's population to and back from school. They make six trips together on a daily basis to ensure students attend school every day.
This selfless initiative, supported by the school's headmaster and other teachers, has prevented the humble school from being shut down. Talking about it to The News Minute, Radhakrishna, physical education teacher said,
All the students are from poor economic backgrounds. So the concept of travelling in the car itself is a dream come true for most of them, and so they never give it a miss.
This initiative, which includes purchase of vehicles, fuel and maintenance cost, was borne solely by the school's teachers for the first seven years; the school had since allocated Rs 2 lakh every year for fuel and maintenance cost.
For the past two years, parents have come forward to share the fuel and maintenance expenses with the school as well. To ensure that children are motivated to attend class, neither teacher takes a personal day. In an interview with Bangalore Mirror, Noorudin said,
We enjoy our work. The only challenge is that we cannot take any holiday. Even if we have a function at home, we have to pick the students up from their home and in the evening get back to drop them. The parents are very supportive.
The school, which at its peak boasted of more than 400 students from Class I to Class VII, now has less than half that strength. And around 90 students of them are depended on the two teachers to ferry them to and back from school.
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