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The pride and asset of Barkur NJC 

Before 1948, Barkur neither had a high school  nor a pre-university college. So people of Barkur or the people in the vicinity had to go to Kallianpur or Udipi or distant Mangalore St. Aloysius for further education. Those days very few people could afford to send their children for high school, leave alone college. It was hard to earn money and majority of people were hailing from agricultural background. They did not have the privilege what I had, that is having a high school and a pre-university college in my own hometown. In that way many people have been robbed of getting better education. I am sure in that respect they are hard done by. Thanks to Almighty for all His grace and the benevolence of our elders. The need for a high school was strongly felt. Soon their vision turned into a reality and that gave birth to a school and college, soon gave education to thousands. Contribution from people varied from donation of land, money and other monetary help. In a tiny town like Barkur, to have a school and college spreading across a sprawling 18 acres land is like a dream come true. Many educational institutes   today  envy the campus of National Junior College. Here I thank the generous contribution of Mr. V.L. Roche, late Mr. Lewis Dílima, late Mr.Denis Picardo, and late Mr. John P. Sequeira. These are the stalwarts whom we are indebted forever.

I had the privilege of studying 5 years in this prestigious and worthy institution. Even my brothers and sisters got education from the same. Since the college is geographically located in a strategic location, it caught a large population of students from distant places like Brammhavar or even Kundapur . I think every one have their own tales to tell about National Junior College. Our time every boy has to go through this school, as Maryknoll Girls School did not have admission for boys. For us to go to high school was like going to moon. It was totally different atmosphere and different people. We even used to get bullied in the first few days of joining 8th  standard. Later we were  accepted in the mainstream. We had to tread  4 miles to reach school daring the windy rains, floods, fields inundated with water and the scorching summer. The monsoon days were a nightmare and now I ponder how did we manage to travel in such adverse conditions. There were no days where I can think of bunking my classes or avoiding the school. My mom used to keep a close watch on our school attendance. It was most gruelling ordeal to cross the river, wade in the water in the floods. By the time you reach school you are bone drenched with water dripping from clothes. To make matters worse we had to carry the heavy load of books and our lunch box. That lunch box was our panacea in the afternoon. There were umpteen times the lunch box had a dip in the flood water. But I still enjoyed those days and it taught me and others to be more resilient and determined to study hard and come up in life.

Though travelling to school was an arduous job, studying at that school was an honour and privilege for us. It had developed us into good citizens, it gave importance to sports and physical fitness. We did have PE classes, NCC and other cadre groups. We did have fixed time set out for playing, assemblies and cultural programmes. We did have outstanding athletes who have won district level laurels and awards. My elders told me that even people from Barkur have represented state levels and Barkur cricket team was a reputed cricket team and played with season balls. In brief it had given others and me a complete and perfect education. We had brilliant and dedicated teachers both at high school level and at Junior College level. Such was their devotion that we had some teachers who used to take special classes  every Saturday and Sunday. After all, they did this to our benefit. Those days I was sceptical and even cynical at times about those extra classes. Now I think it is well worth the time spent in those classes. We had teachers like Mr. V. Hande, Mr. Bhatt , Mr. S. Udupa, Mr. Aithal, and Late Mr. Jerome Picardo to mention the few. Each one had their own style of teaching. My hats off for their unique style of teaching. A word of mention about Maths teaching abilities   of late Mr. Picardo. Derivation of physics formulae from physics lecturer are memorable. In the science section 4 teachers were 1st   or 2nd Rank holders in their MSc. They were all bright and clever. No doubt National Junior College brought the best results in Science, Commerce and Arts section. We even had students who secured ranks in whole of Karnatake State. Who can forget the bright principal Mr. Bhoja Rao, strict disciplinarian Mr. Sitaram Shetty, physical teacher Mr. Surappa Bhandari and humorous Mr. Ananth Naik. Each one had their own charisma and character. Then it is hard to forget the fruits we used to eat as snacks that were grown in plenty in the orchards in the NJC campus.  The frantic efforts of law enforcing peons to catch the elusive students who attempt plucking the fruits and students hoodwinking them remain vivid in my memory.

To conclude the write up, National Junior College has contributed significantly and all credit should go to the teachers and the munificence of our elders who donated liberally at that time. Today the students who studied there have spread all over the globe and have made their name in their fields. A feeling of deju vu is creeping in my mind when I think of National Junior College. It was one of the best institutions I have studied and I shall remain indebted to my Alma Mater National Junior College. Let us not forget our Alma mater NJC and our great hometown Barkur. Long  live Barkur and NJC.

A well wisher and Ex student of NJC,

Dr Derick Dísouza, London, 18/07/2002.

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Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

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