A tiny hamlet in Karnataka, last week was the happiest on Teacher's Day. As many as 562 teachers in the state hail from Hullur, which population is only 4,500. It is also home to 243 retired teachers.
Though it is unclear why people of this village, which also boasts of 15 lecturers, 25 engineers and six doctors, have a flair for teaching, locals speak of an old tradition here.
Former gram panchayat president S B Herakal, who himself is an MA and B Ed, feels the teacher training course at Bagalkot has been popular among the village’s students since the 1970s.
“With students heading to Bagalkot for the course, butthi appas, akin to Mumbai’s dabbawallahs, used to take a train from the nearest station Mallapur to Bagalkot to supply home food to the students, who were able to pursue the course with little expense and invariably landed jobs after the course. Even today, 10-15 students from the village join the teacher training course every year,” he says. Herakal adds that male teachers of the village prefer teachers as brides and this has led to a rise in the number of teachers in the village in recent years. “Now, each family has three to four teachers,” he says.
The head master of the local Government Higher Primary School, Ramakanth Kamatgi, also speaks of the school’s role in serving the village’s educational needs since 1869. “Many poor people, who migrated from neighbouring taluks and districts, settled here as farm hands. But, they were landless and lacked financial security. This might have motivated them to become teachers,” he reckons.