GADAG: Ashok Undi (39), a teacher at a government school in Ron taluk, is a local hero hailed by the young and the old alike due to his selfless dedication to his job. Ashok has even decided not to get married so that he can devote his whole life to students’ development.The science teacher at the government school in Sudi village spends half of his salary (Rs 34,000) on various measures like buying equipment, travelling and taking students to nearby places for study tours etc.
He recently spent Rs 2 lakh from his own pocket to buy a laptop, projector and CDs to improve their learning experience. He also educates them about rooting out superstitions and social evils, and encourages them to participate in sports and environment conservation.
“Rural students always face the problem of keeping themselves abreast with the latest developments, which is very important in this time of heavy competition,” Ashok says. “I want to provide them all facilities which are present in private schools. So I have decided not to get married. I spend half of my salary for my students.” When he decided not to marry and dedicate his life to teaching students, his family and friends tried to convince him that this can be done even after marriage. But Ashok was firm in his decision and finally the family members gave in.
Ashok, who joined this school 14 years ago after working for two years in Kotumachgagi, teaches classes 5,6 and 7. He conducts many workshops for students in order to teach them science using demonstration and practical sessions. He spends his own money to organise these events. He has become famous as a creative science teacher, and gets invitations from other private and government schools to address their students. He conducts these sessions free of charge.
His efforts are commended by students as well as education officials. A student, Manjunath Byali, says, “Ashok sir is a very good teacher. He bought a telescope, laptop, projector and other instruments for us by spending his own money. He wants students to learn new things. He wishes to see every student as a child scientist who participates in state and national-level competitions.”
It doesn’t come as a surprise then when Ashok says many of his students have won awards at state-level science workshops. His passion, however, is not restricted to teaching science. Ashok has also been running free yoga and Pranayam sessions for students, and over 50 children join him in the exercise every morning. He also trains students in various other activities, including thermocol cutting, painting, swimming, preserving animal organs in a lab for biology classes, and astrophysics.
Ashok’s efforts are recognised by education officials as well. G Rudrappa, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), says, “We are proud to have a resourceful teacher like Ashok in our department. He has been dedicating his time and money for the betterment of children.”
Ashok has bagged several awards for his endeavours, including the Bala Vikas Academy Award, the Annamalai University Best Teacher award, and the Best Organising Teacher award from the district education department.
Ashok is from Hullur which is famous as teachers’ hamlet. Hullur has a teacher in every house. Ashok has completed his B.Sc. (PCM) and did TCH which is now called D.Ed. with Science as the main subject. Ashok’s father is a retired teacher, mother is a home maker. His brother is a lecturer in a PU College