Got TWINS! Sharada Ganapathi Vidya Kendra-Punyakoti Nagara has 11 Pairs of Twins as Students

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Got TWINS! Sharada Ganapathi Vidya Kendra at Punyakoti Nagara in Kairangala Village, about 28 Kms from Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada has 11 Pairs of Twins as Students. At present, there are 4 Boy Twins, 3 Girl Twins, and 4 Mixed Twins (Boy & Girl)

Mangaluru: Having a pair of twins in the house is always a joy and something unique, but imagine having 11 pairs of twins in a school – it is nothing but Simply extraordinary, Simply Unique and Simply Joyful. If twins are identical, the teachers are left in the lurch a lot of the time as they can’t tell who’s who, but the teachers at this school are used to these kids, and they had no problems in identifying them, all these years. When twins are born in this village they think of this school- and it has become more of local sentiment, it looks like.

Meet 11 pairs of twins studying in Sharada Ganapathi Vidyakendra school located at Kairangala Punyakoti Nagara, in Balepuni gram Panchayat on the outskirts of Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district. The sight of these eleven twins, who study in different classes, is a delight to watch. Parenting is one of the most beautiful and enriching experiences of one’s life. However, raising more than one child at the same – time be it twins or triplets – can become quite demanding. While multiples are a bundle of joy, caring for them could become quite hectic. It could involve months of sleepless nights, changing diapers and feeding and therefore, an exhausting phase for the parents. Similarly, imagine how the teachers at this school have to put all their efforts into rightly identifying the twins- sometimes it might be a hectic task. But proper preparation might have been making their job a little easy in handling the twins.

This School has 4 Boy Twins, 3 Girl Twins and 4 Mixed (Boy & Girl) Twins- and all have been studying in the same school classrooms since the management is reluctant to separate them from each other as they have a special bond. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Srihari the Principal of the school said, “The first pair of twins were admitted to the school in 2008, after which every year the numbers of twins joining our school has been increasing. In the beginning, teachers find it difficult to identify the twins, but eventually, they get to know them without any problem. “We understand each twin’s body language and we used to check a black mole on their face to correctly identify them. Though the joining of twins is coincidental, it has indeed made it special. There is no special feeling in the world than to see these 11 pairs of students on the school premises”.

Among these twins, three pairs study in IV grade, two pairs in V grade, one pair each in VI, VII, VIII, X grades and two pairs in XII grade. Among these twins are four boy pairs, four girl pairs and three (Mixed) boy-girl pairs. Three pairs of students, Jainesh and Jayesh, Sanjana-Sanjay, Latesh and Lavesh are the students of IV grade and had been in the school since LKG, while one of the pairs studying in V grade Chaitanya P Malli and Chandana P Malli had been in the school since LKG while one more pair from the same grade Dhanyashree and Dhanush were admitted this year. Yet another pair, Bhavyashree and Divyashree of VI-grade were admitted to the school three years ago while Keerthi R Gatti and Keerthan R Gatti of 7th grade joined in 2021, Sujan and Suhan of VIII grade were admitted in 2020 and Shreeshanth and Sushant of class X grade joined the school in 2019. Pragna and Preksha, Moksha and Mokshita of XII grade joined the school in 2020.

One of the twins Keerthi R Gatti who is happy to be surrounded by so many twins like her speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The management of this school has helped us a lot because prior to joining this school we were paying Rs 30,000 school fees for me and my brother (Keerthan), and now we are paying only Rs 6000 at Sharada Ganapathi Vidya Kendra. The management and teachers take good care of us, give us good education and we are all happy to have all of the twins surrounding us at school”.

According to T G Rajaram Bhat, the Founder and Correspondent of this Institution, (who is also an Executive Board member of SCDCC Bank, Mangaluru) said, “Sharada Ganapathi Vidya Kendra is the only school in Karnataka having a maximum number of twins and though initially there was an identity crisis, eventually there were no issues in identifying the twins, and teachers are quite comfortable with them. The first pair of twins had financial problems during admissions in 2008 and we gave them an offer to pay fees for only one of the twins, which we continued for all the twins thereafter since most of these twins are from poor families. Our other students in the school are also economically backward, and we have provided fee concessions to nearly 160 students at the moment”, added Bhat.

Bhat further said, “Currently the student strength of the school is 913 between LKG up to PUC (Commerce only) and with a staff count of 43. The idea of starting a school came to me when I had referred a poor student for admission to a government school but was denied admission due to ‘political reasons’. Therefore I took the decision to start this English medium school in 2006, especially for economically backward children mainly focusing on Indian Culture. Our school itself is named after twin Gods-Sharada (his mother) and Ganapathi (his father), and more and more twins joining our school has given a meaning to it, which I feel proud of.

Team Mangalorean also learnt that the School organizes Krishi Utsav to inculcate interest among students in agriculture, and it also has a Goshala on the premises. Among other extracurricular activities that the school promotes are – Yakshagana, Bharatanatyam, learning to play instruments like Harmonium, Tabla, and also teaching karate, and students can opt to learn any one of these. Students are also provided with free meals and school bus facility. Bhat has also adopted a nearby government primary school, which was featured in a popular Kannada movie ‘Sa.Hi. Pra. Shaale-Kasaragodu’, and due to Bhat’s efforts more and more students are joining this school.

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