1 village, 1 school, 4 generations of literate people

The century-old Uchil Bovis Higher Primary School in Sankolige Uchila.

Once a poverty-stricken fishing hamlet on city’s outskirts, Uchila today, is a model on how education can drive development by transforming lives.

“Nearly 99% of residents in Uchila are fourth-generation literate people. Every house has a member who is either serving as a teacher or an achiever leading a successful career in far-off places, including foreign countries,” said Sukesh G Uchil whose maternal great grandfather had served as the tax collector for then British-India government.

Hundred years ago, when poverty, ignorance, caste and gender discrimination was at its height, Bovis fishing community led by Udyavara Beecha Belchapadaru begun a school, now known as Uchil Bovis Higher Primary School, exclusively for children from the fishing community in the sprawling house of one Manjappa, Chief Commissioner of Bharat Scouts and Guides Dr N G Mohan said.

Bovis community succeeded in building a permanent school on the land donated by Nileshwara Damodara Tantri of Shri Vishnumoorthy temple in Uchila. Though there were two schools near Kotekar, a school in the neighbourhood meant easy access to education, particularly for girl children,” said Revathy Damodar Uchil, who had retired as headmistress of the school.

Revathy incidentally had studied in the same aided school and after completing the teachers' training course had returned to the school to teach. She said the daughters and sons of Damodara Tantri also went onto study in the same school. In tune to the changing times, an English medium high school was started.

The school also encouraged a culture of giving back to the institution, said Mumbai-based Young Men’s Bovi Association President Chandrakanth S Uchil.

Two years ago, N G Mohan and his sister Shyamala Uchil with the help of alumni renovated the school building and saved it from demolition, Ullal Bovis High School Old Students Association President Sukesh G Uchil recollected.

The school also serves as an umbilical cord connecting the diaspora to its village, Uchil.

Sports Academy

Kannada Medium Aided School in Uchila rose to dizzying heights of popularity because of the outstanding achievements of alumni in the field of sports.

Sanjeeva Uchil (was goalkeeper of Indian football team that had qualified for the 1948 summer Olympics in London), R N Uchil (whose state record in 400 mts race was broken recently), Taranath Uchil (a reputed Table Tennis player) among others had studied in the school, said Uchil Bovis Educational Institutions (UBEI) correspondent Devdas T Uchil. UBEI Centenary Celebration Committee in a bid to regain its glory has announced the launch of ITI and a sports academy.

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