ASI supports 600 students after losing daughter to fire

Lokeshappa mentioned that according to the parents, if the government provides text books, they should also supply notebooks and other materials.
ASI Lokeshappa D adopted six schools in memory of his daughter
ASI Lokeshappa D adopted six schools in memory of his daughterPhoto | Express

BENGALURU : After losing his three-year-old daughter to a tragic garbage fire accident, police officer Lokeshappa D turned his grief into hope for hundreds of other kids. To honour the memory of his daughter, Lokeshappa dedicates two months of his salary every year, to provide essential school supplies to about 600 students from class 1 to 8.

March 5, 2019, marked the tragic day for Lokeshappa, who was then serving as a head constable at Cubbon Park Traffic Police station. On that fateful evening, he got a call from his wife Sudhamani, who informed him that their daughter Harshali had sustained serious burn injuries, in a fire that broke out, at police quarters in Shivajinagar, while she was playing.

She was rushed to Victoria Hospital, where she was under treatment until March 13. Tragically, the girl succumbed to her burn injuries after struggling for nearly eight days.

Unable to cope with the loss of his first child who loved colouring in books, Lokeshappa, who is now serving as an Assistant Sub-Inspector at Shivajinagar Women Police Station, chose to dedicate a portion of his salary, equivalent to what he would have spent on Harshali’s education, to support students in remote areas.

Reflecting on his own struggles with limited resources, during his growing years, in Hassan, Lokeshappa was driven to make a difference for others. Highlighting that education is often undervalued in rural areas and children attend school mainly for the mid-day meals, Lokeshappa also mentioned that, while many parents are financially capable to buy their kids stationary for school, they blame the government for insufficient resources such as notebooks, pens, and pencils. Lokeshappa mentioned that according to the parents, if the government provides text books, they should also supply notebooks and other materials.

What began with one school, has now grown significantly, as Lokeshappa has adopted six schools – one in Bengaluru’s Kodigehalli where he supports 200 childrens, one in Mysuru, and four in his native Hassan - supporting a total of 600 students. He decided to adopt schools, specifically in remote areas, where the risk of students discontinuing their studies due to lack of additional study materials is high.

This year, Lokeshappa’s wife Sudhamani decided to quit her teaching profession and start an NGO, named fter their daughter - Harshali Foundation. The foundation, which will be registered soon, aims to provide free books and stationary to the students in remote areas and from economically weaker section.

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