KALABURAGI : He has opened up his purse for poor girl students. It is not that he is rich. He is a clerk at a government college with a big heart. Meet Basavaraj Mantage, a first division assistant in Government Composite Junior College, Kalaburagi, which offers high school and pre-university education.Basavaraj has embarked upon the noble crusade in memory of his elder daughter. Basavaraj who has been facilitating education of the poor by providing notebooks, pens, instrument boxes and other stationery since a few years ago, has now taken up the fee responsibility of all girls taking admission for the pre-university course in the institution from this year.
In the present academic year 2018-19, he has paid the fees of 70 girls who got admission to PUC 1st year by totally paying `20,000 to the Principal. He says that next year too he will pay the fees of all these 70 girls to continue their studies in PUC 2nd year as well as pay the fees of all girl students who get admission in PUC 1st year in this institution The father of two daughters, Dhaneshwari and Bhuvaneshwari, Mantage says he has always empathised with his daughters’ classmates. In December last year when a health issue snatched away Dhaneshwari, who was then a student of PUC II at Sharanabasaveshwara College, the devastated family took months to overcome the grief.
It was then that Basavaraj decided to pay the fees of girls joining Government Composite Junior College “as fees that I used to pay for my elder daughter’s studies”, he goes on to add. Dhaneshwari, it turns out, was worth a full class for the loving father. With encouragement from his wife who is a teacher, he is determined to pay for the education of all girls seeking admission in the college who cannot afford to.
Basavaraj says the “special attachment” he has for Government Composite Junior College is because it is here that “I studied high school and PUC. Also, I have been working in this college for over a decade now.” That the family has no ancestral property to fall back on speaks volumes of the largesse and humility exercised here. “Like me, most children who study in government institutions come from poor backgrounds. I never even had footwear when I attended high school,” he said.
Most girls discontinue education after SSLC, and the primary reason for this is the inability to pay fees, according to Basavaraj. “As the government provides free education, along with books and uniforms for girl students up to 10th standard, I decided to do at least some of that for those willing to continue their studies,” he elaborates.“My parents were not in a position to continue my education. The credit for me joining college should go to Basavaraj sir,” says Sushmita, PU I year student. (ramkrishnabadseshi
Basavaraj Mantage says that well-wishers have suggested forming a Trust in his daughter’s name, in order to extend the good work to more needy girls, which he plans to do soon. This will provide an opportunity for those interested in joining hands to expand and sustain the endeavour.
The students have to pay 2 types of fees in Govt Junior Colleges. The government pays the first type of fees of `85 which includes application fees, registration fees documentation fees. The students have to pay `250, which includes sports fees, special sports fees, union fees, home exam fees, etc.