A teacher whose name is synonymous with the village
Say Sugatur and anyone in the education field of the district will think of teacher C Bhairappa.
It is a well-known story in Sugatur how Bhairappa, born in an agriculture-based family in Chitnahalli of the taluk, strived to start and develop the Sabarmati School, with the help of former legislator of Vemagal, S Govinda Gowda.
Determined to start a school for the children in his Hobli, Bhairappa took the brave decision of resigning as the headmaster of a Government High School, in the 1970s.
Joining as the headmaster of the Sugatur school, he earned barely Rs 140, which was six times lesser than his salary in his previous job.
Bhairappa, however, was undeterred. Aided by voluntary service from both teachers and students, he succeeded in starting the Sabarmati High School in Sugatur village.
Everybody in the School has a sense of sheer gratitude while speaking about the 64-year-old, indefatigable Bhairappa.
The School with about 2,000 students is unique in the district. It was the first school in the district to get computers connected, till then a distant dream in villages.
He also started a bridge course in the school. A teacher in the School was trained for the course, and with the teacher’s assistance, Bhairappa had the School supplied with the necessary equipment.
He was especially influenced by the works of the district’s Sarvodaya leader and freedom fighter K Pattabhiraman as well as by the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. As a result, celebration of Gandhi Jayanti and voluntary service are two special features of the Sabarmati High School.
With an intention of inculcating Gandhian qualities in the students, he arranged for elocution competition to be organised every year, based on the philosophy of Gandhi. Bhairappa also invited Gandhivadis to the School.
He has also started the State level Bapu Award for people who have inculcated the Gandhian philosophy and practise it. Writers G S Shivarudrappa, Sa Raghunath, L S Sheshagiri Rao, freedom fighter Ramappa Naidu are among the 10 people awarded, thus far.
Bhairappa is among the founders of the Kannada Sangha in Kolar. In the 1970s, he travelled on his bicycle and along with his friends, worked to spread knowledge of Kannada literature by giving Kannada books to the people in the border areas. He has himself written books on education, agriculture and industries.
Bhairappa retired as headmaster in 2004. He is now the secretary in the School administration and works currently as the headmaster of the BGS Public School in Seethi.
He has been awarded the Best Teacher Award. He has also been honoured by several organisations for his contributions in the fields of education, Kannada language, development of literature and also Gandhian philosophy.