This teacher, Suresh B Chalageri climbs a mountain everyday to keep the school functioning

Gadag, June 28: Some walk, others cycle. Suresh B Chalageri scales a hill to get to school. For seven years and nine months, the dedicated teacher has trekked to reach his destination, sometimes carrying books and foodgrains, traversing a distance of 8 km. In fact, he is the sole reason the Byrapura Lower Primary School is still running.

Located atop the hill in Byrapura village of Gajendragada taluk in Karnataka’s Gadag, the school was in a shambles when Chalageri, 50, was first posted there. While the famous Kalakaleshwar temple is situated at the foothills, the hilltop is home to scores of families from the Lambani tribe, who are largely shepherds. Most lambani children go to the government school.

Recalling the time when he was transferred to the school, Chalageri told TOI: “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 to climb the hill.”

Arduous in the beginning, the journey became a part of his life. Day after day, Chalageri ascended and descended the hill, sometimes carrying ration for the children’s midday meals as well as books and stationery. It was only recently that he was given a two-wheeler. 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.

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