For students of Baarali village in Udupi district’s Brahmavar taluk, Rajaram is not just their science and mathematics teacher but also the one person, who ensured that they did not drop out of school.
The students in Baarali and surrounding villages began dropping out of the Baarali Government Higher Primary School over a year ago as the children had to trek through 3-km of forest area to reach the school.
“There are no roads from the houses of the children to the school. There is a mud path through the forest and most of the girl students began dropping out as their families were scared of allowing their children to walk for a total of 6 km to and from school,” Rajaram says.
Saddened by the state of affairs, Rajaram reached out to one of the school’s former students – Vijay Hegde, who runs a property management company in Bengaluru.
“The children were dropping out quickly and with the head count in our school falling low, we were at the threat of shutting down too. One evening, I had finished counting how many children had dropped out and I was upset. Every week at least five to six students were not turning up. I called up one of our former students – Vijay Hegde and proposed the idea of buying a bus to pick up and drop the children,” Rajaram says…