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Dr. Nitte Shankara Adyanthaya (1905 to 1962)


Dr. Nitte Shankara Adyanthaya is the second son of Sri Siddhu Shetty and Nitte Rukmini Adyanthaya. He was born on 22nd September, 1905. Sri. Siddhu Shetty was an agriculturist and owned vast land. He was a very forward thinking man and had a dream of educating his four children- two boys and two girls. At a very tender age of 6 years, Shankara Adyanthaya lost his father. Fate was unkind to him once again when he lost his mother at the age of 12. Young Shankara attended the Karkala Board High School. Being a bright and hard working student, he had an ambition to become a doctor. Unfortunately, the death of both his parents had shattered his dreams. However, his maternal aunt Smt. Sesamma supported his education and helped him to join Stanley Medical College, Madras where he completed his MBBS. During his studies he developed the values of simplicity, compassion and discipline.

Soon after his studies at Madras he started medical practice initially for a short while at Udupi. Soon young Dr. Shankar Adyanthaya realised that his services were more required at Karkala. Thus he came to Karkala. Later he went to Calcutta to do a PG diploma in ophthalmology. He soon became a very popular doctor not only in the town but also in the neighbouring villages. Medical profession during the 1930s and 1940s was more of social service as there were not many hospitals and commuting was difficult because of the poor transport facilities. This did not deter Dr. Shankara Adyanthaya and he took up this task by making huge sacrifice of his personal life. He even had facilities attached to his clinic for patients on who he had operated for cataract. He was very methodical, punctual, disciplined, and humane in his approach in his work and profession. Many times he would give the patients money for travelling and would also give food grains to the poor during his home visits. He was very punctual and would travel on his own horse driven cart.

Always dressed in impeccable white, Dr. Shankara Adyanthaya was very particular about cleanliness and hygiene. He would wash his hands ritually after examining every patient and would use distilled water in his clinic. He would always uphold ‘dignity of labour’ and would not hesitate to clean the litter in and around his clinic and house. He was a soft spoken and an affectionate doctor and was thus loved and respected by one and all. He had a special affection for patients from Nitte. In addition to serving his patients, Dr. Shankara Adyanthaya was very much interested in agriculture and animal husbandry and was a role model for Nitte village in both these areas. He was one of the first to introduce large scale cultivation of arecanut and coconut in the area.

Dr. Shankara Adyanthaya married Kumuda the eldest daughter of Sri Kowdoor Srinivas Hegde and Smt. Rathi Hegde and had six children. Their three daughters Vatsala, Vidya and Sujatha are married to men of stature respectively to Dr. N R Shetty, who was the Vice- Chancellor of Bangalore University, and Sri B R Hegde, an engineer and a Trustee of Nitte Education Trust and Sri N Vinaya Hegde, the President of Nitte Education Trust, the Chancellor of Nitte University and the Chairman of Lamina group of companies. The three sons Sri Siddu Adyanthaya, was senior executive with Air-India, Sri Devdas Adyanthaya and Sri Jeevandas Adyanthaya are businessmen. Dr. Shankara Adyanthaya always wanted to start a high school in Nitte as he had a special affection for its people. This interest in rural education and the motivation of his sister Meenakshi Hegde, the wife of Justice K S Hegde, Founder of Nitte Education Trust, paved the way for starting schools and colleges to be named after him.

On 30th July, 1962 he suddenly passed away leaving behind a fine legacy of humanitarian values.

As a student of the institution named after him, you have a role model in Dr. Nitte Shankara Adyanthaya, to look upto and follow to shape your personality and become a fine human being.

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