For students of Baarali village in Udupi, Karnataka, Rajaram Naik is not just their science and mathematics teacher. He is the reason why several children haven’t dropped out of school. Children from the neighbouring villages of Baarali Government Higher Primary School had to trek nearly 3 kms a day to reach school. The only way to reach school was a muddy path that cut through a dense forest. Worried parents began to stop sending their children or letting them walk alone for 6 kms everyday.
It was then that two former students Vijay Hegde and Ganesh Shetty proposed the idea to buy a school bus to pick and drop children. Rajaram pooled all his resources to buy the bus. From vehicle insurance to the diesel, he pays for the maintenance of the bus from his own pocket. Rajaram also got himself a driving license. He now wakes up early to pick up children for school. Everyday, he completes four trips to and fro, getting children in time to attend the school which starts at 9:30 AM. He also plans to encourage children to attend school by building a track in the school campus for sports and other activities. Thanks to Rajaram’s efforts, the school’s strength has nearly doubled from 50 to 90.