K Narayana Naik has been on a mission to help millions of students pursue higher education by providing them access to scholarships for the past 21 years.
Narayana Naik leaves his residence at 8 a.m. every day and rides his ancient Honda Dream cycle to schools, universities, government agencies, and private organisations. It’s after 6 p.m. by the time he gets home.
“I visited about 200 schools in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi alone last year,” the 80-year-old claims.
Naik, from Karpe village in Dakshina Kannada’s Bantwal taluk, has been on a one-of-a-kind mission, granting scholarships to high school and college students.
Every day, he visits schools, universities, and students’ homes, orienting and communicating with them and directing them to the appropriate scholarships.
The retired government high school teacher, known to most as the “scholarship master,” has touched the lives of over a lakh children over the last few decades, presenting them with scholarships worth crores.
Naik, who retired in 2001 after a 38-year teaching career, preferred to spend his elderly years actively immersed in social work rather than at home with his children and grandkids.
Naik earns a Rs 40,000 pension and spends more than half of it on travel costs. He believes that education is the key to success and that it is therefore critical to take advantage of all available chances.
Growing up in a poor farming household, Naik recounts the difficulties he had in pursuing an education.
Naik went on to earn B Ed and MA degrees in Kannada and Hindi after travelling roughly 16 kilometres daily to school barefoot.
At the age of 20, he began his profession as a primary school teacher. He afterwards worked as a high school teacher and a school inspector before retiring.
There are several sorts of scholarships available to students depending on various criteria. He also links poor kids with various NGOs and foundations to assist them with scholarships or sponsorships.
Hariprasad Shetty, head of Government First Grade College in Vamadapadavu, has known him for the last 25 years and describes him as one of the most unselfish people he has ever encountered.
Dr. Yogish Kairodi, a lecturer at Alva’s College in Moodubidire, Karnataka, remembers how Narayan Naik assisted him in pursuing his post-graduate studies by securing him a scholarship.
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