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Teacher in 'khaki': Meet Shantappa who holds gun and chalk with ease

Teacher in khaki:  Meet Shantappa who holds gun and chalk with ease
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Sub-inspector Shantappa Jademmanavar teaching to Migrant Workers in Bengaluru

Highlights

When sub-inspector Shantappa Jademmanavar of Annapurneshwar Nagar police station walks into Nagarbhavi settlement in 'India's Own Silicon Valley', with a revolver tucked under his waist belt and a walkie-talkie in his hand, the students greet him enthusiastically.

When sub-inspector Shantappa Jademmanavar of Annapurneshwar Nagar police station walks into Nagarbhavi settlement in 'India's Own Silicon Valley', with a revolver tucked under his waist belt and a walkie-talkie in his hand, the students greet him enthusiastically.

''Hello, sir," they yell in unison. Some call him, "anna", while others address him as "uncle".

Shantappa is not the officer on duty, but a man on mission. He has drawn his gun in the line of duty, but now draws the Vedic math formulas on the chalk board.

At 7 am each day, Shantappa spends an hour with the children of migrant workers in Nagarbhavi to teach them Vedic maths, general knowledge, life skills and "value based education" in an open space in Nagarbhavi.


"I know how important school and education is for children. My attempt is to ensure that we are giving children the best life chances," says Shantappa.

Around 30 to 35 children in Nagarbhavi slum settle down every morning as Shantappa scribbles the daily lessons on a white and sometimes black board. Apart from serving as a frontline warrior, Shantappa has been going above and beyond his duty's call.

For the last one month, Shantappa had been donning the role of a teacher in 'Khaki'.

In a conversation with The Hans India, Shantappa said his only aim was to keep children occupied and engage them in something meaningful. "I have a natural affinity to the children in these settlements. I studied in government primary and high school in Genikal of Kurugodu taluk in Ballari district. I often used to visit my sister Lakshmi and brother-in-law Kallappa in Nagarbhavi. I used to spend my summer holidays in the same settlements in Nagarbhavi as a child," says Shantappa.

Shantappa was deeply pained when he saw kids in Nagarbhavi settlement loitering around during the lockdown period. While their more fortunate counterparts in corporate schools have the luxury of online learning even during the pandemic induced lockdown, for the children of migrant workers, however, learning has come to a halt. The children of migrant workers have already missed critical time in the classroom and are at risk of falling even further behind. The coronavirus pandemic then has become the world's largest experiment in street learning.


"The closure of schools to slow the spread of the Covid-19 infection has affected millions of children in the country, especially the children of migrant workers. Rural kids used to attend the nearby 'anganwadis' and public schools, but education remained out of bounds for them after the March 24 complete lockdown. I was born in the same slum. I was a migrant labourer too, so I understand the difficulties of being the child of a migrant labourer. I lost my father 20 years back and was raised by brother-in-law," says Shantappa.

"The police are for the community. I was deeply pained when I saw these kids loitering around. Children of migrant workers who don't have access to smartphones and laptops. Access to online resources and reliable electricity is out of reach for these kids. They have done nothing wrong to be away from education. I want these children to be Bharat Ratna and Karnataka Ratna. I want them to serve the voiceless sections of the society. Education is their birth right, which is being snatched away from them. Their economic difficulties keep them away from education. I convince their parents that education is true empowerment," says Shantappa who has been putting a friendly face to a police officer.

The 'anna', as children call him, often gives them chocolates, books, bags, geometry boxes, dictionaries and pencils. Thankfully, some sponsors are helping Shantappa in his endeavour to transform the lives of children in Nagarbhavi.

Shantappa is a true 'Singham'. May his breed prosper

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