Koraga community gets its first don

Koraga community gets its first don

Koraga is one of the most backward communities in Dakshina Kannada. Several colonies still lack basic facilities and majority of the community members are still illiterates.

However, here is a man who has become model among his community members. He is the first and the only person among 6,000 odd people belonging to Koraga tribal community in Dakshina Kannada to have a PhD degree. He has carved a niche among the community members. He is Babu, a native of Kalmanje in Belthangady taluk.

In fact, no one from Koraga community have the distinction of having degree in science stream.

Speaking to City Herald, he said his thesis entitled “Synthetic and biological studies on nitrogen, sulphur and oxygen containing heterocycles” was prepared under the guidance of Dr Balakrishna Kalluraya, Chairman of Chemistry department, Mangalore University.


He has published six research papers in international journals and three in Indian journals. He has also presented research papers in various national conferences.

Hailing from a poor family with both parents being illiterate, through hard work and commitment, he has come up in his life. Of the nine children, he is the seventh child of Mathadi and Chomu. All his sisters are illiterates. Two brothers had studied upto primary and other two brothers have discontinued their studies after PUC.

He has studied upto class five at Kalmanje. “I had to walk for five kilometre to attend class six and seven at Kambinadka,” he says. He completed his high school from Mundaje and PUC from SDM college.

He says: “I was competing with my classmates during my school days. As most of my friends took science stream in PUC, I too applied for PCMB, without knowing the opportunities for studying science. In fact, Chemistry was toughest subject for me in PUC. I had scored less marks in Chemistry which made me to take it as a challenge to study hard in chemistry,” he recalls.

He says: “Being a day scholar while studying PUC at Ujire, I had to cross two streams during monsoon to reach to the bus. Only one bus service was available to Ujire from my village and the service was irregular. I had to leave home at 6 am and reach back at 7 pm. There was not much time for studying.”

He completed his degree from Canara College in Mangalore with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as core subjects. After completing degree, he had worked for two years before applying for MSc in Applied Chemistry. He completed MSc with first class in 1999-2000.  At present, he is teaching at MGM PU College in Udupi. Before entering into teaching line, he had worked as non teaching staff at evaluation section of the Mangalore University. He has also worked as Lab Assistant at Chemistry department of Mangalore University for sometime. 

He says that he has been creating awareness on the need for education among his community members from his college days and will continue to do so.