This 30-year-old bus conductor of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is passionate about the Kannada language and celebrates Rajyotsava in a unique way. This year too, the celebration drew the attention of people from different places between Davangere and Mysore.
He specially decorates the “Sarige” bus to convert it into “Kannada Ratha” and people who travel in this bus cherish their journey as they come across many things about the Kannada language, writers, history and culture of the State, eminent and literary personalities, places of importance and many other things about the State and the people. Mr. Nataraj, conductor attached to the Gundlupet depot, hails from Kundur village in Honnali taluk of Davangere district. This is his 8th Rajyotsava celebration on board his “special bus”.
Mr. Nataraj conducts quiz for passengers all along the journey from Gundlupet to Davangere and gives Kannada books as prizes to those who give correct answers. He asks only those questions which are related to the language, literature and cinema.
This year, the celebration will last for 15 days (until November 15). Mr Nataraj, who spoke to The Hindu over phone while travelling in bus from Davangere, said: “I have a bank of 4,000 questions on the State, its people and its history and culture for the quiz. I give books as prizes so that people cultivate the habit of reading Kannada books.”
Mr. Nataraj has maintained a library inside the bus and passengers can borrow books for reading during the journey.
Every month, Nataraj sets aside Rs. 900 from his salary for Rajyotsava celebrations. “I will continue to celebrate the this special day every year for the cause of Kannada and the State."
The KSRTC has fixed a route — Gundlupet-Mysore-Shimoga-Davangere — for Nataraj since last three years. “My officers have encouraged and supported me in my interest,” he said.
Along the journey, passengers get to listen to songs of famous Kannada works. His bus driver, Guddappa Pushupathi has also been a strong support for Mr. Nataraj. The duo is in-charge of the bus since last three years.