Belagavi(Karnataka): A teacher in almost every house. Inchal village in Savadatti taluk of Belagavi is a teachers’ village, literally. The first choice of every parent here is to get the child into teaching profession.
Tucked 41km from the district centre, Inchal, with a population of 6,000 people, has more than 600 persons who have opted for teaching. They are working in different parts of Karnataka. While many are employed with the state-run or aided schools and colleges, some work with unaided institutions across Karnataka. Also, a considerable number of youths, who have completed their training programme, are awaiting posting.
For people of Inchal, teaching is the noblest profession. One of the biggest teacher-families would be that of Shabbir Mirajannavar, Bailhongal taluk secretary of Karnataka State Primary Teachers’ Association – 13 members of his family are teachers. On an average, families have at least five teachers in the household. “Most people in Inchal village are into teaching. Agriculture is only their second option,” SL Bhajantri, Savadatti block education officer, said.
Inchal owes it all to Shivanand Bharati Swamiji. In the 1970s, there were just eight teachers and one primary school in Inchal. Those who wanted to continue studies had to trek all the way to Bailhongal town. Lack of an accessible institution of higher education denied several students, especially girls, many life-changing opportunities.
Taking serious note of the problem, Shivanand Bharati Swamiji established an education society along with some other teachers, bringing a centre of higher learning to the village.
In 1984, the Rural Teachers’ Training Centre was opened. It gave free training to students in the village. It was followed by Prasad Nilayam, where students were provided free food. Soon, the seer’s efforts began to yield results – the village improved its literacy rate, and most students opted for teachers’ training. Gradually, the village saw a spurt in number of students entering the profession.
Today, Inchal hosts a primary and high school, a PU college, a degree college imparting courses in arts, commerce and science, a BAMS college and a Sanskrit school.