Sir V. V. Bhat
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Mr. V. V. Bhat was born in a family of educationists near Udupi in Mangalore, Karnataka, in 1930. He studied in the Kadiyali School, which was owned by his family—a family of educationists. He completed his graduation and post-graduation from the University of Mysore. He further went on to earn degrees in Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Oriental Learning. On completing his education, he worked as a teacher and then as a headmaster in his own school at Udupi.

He moved to Mumbai in 1958, where he joined the NKES School in Matunga as an Assistant Teacher. Further, he served as the principal of the Kannada Night High School. In 1965 he was appointed as an Inspector of Education for private primary schools with the BMC. It was while inspecting various schools of the city that he became aware of the lacunae in the city’s educational institutions. His single-minded approach now was to launch a school that would address all these shortcomings.

Mr. V. V. Bhat laid the foundation of the Children’s Academy Group of Schools with a single school in Malad East in 1970. This was quite a modest institution, functioning out of just a few rented shops in the premises of Ishwar Bhavan, a residential building. This was a harrowing time for him, as he had to look into every aspect of the school. His sincerity and genuineness helped him to build a very faithful team of talented teachers who served to carry his dream ahead.

After building a team of educational luminaries around him, Children’s Academy started growing by leaps and bounds. With the growing demand for the school, the few rented shops in Ishwar Bhavan would no longer suffice and it was time to start a move to a brand new state-of-the-art school building.

Finding a plot for the school was an uphill task. The monetary aspect notwithstanding, it was acquiring the municipal permission that proved to be the most daunting aspect. It took him 6 years of persistent effort to secure the permission, and even those 6 years of waiting were mired by impediments like the demolition of his makeshift school structure by the BMC.

But where there is a will, there is a way. Children’s Academy Malad school building was completed and with the improved infrastructure, the school started thriving even more. Soon, parents from nearby suburbs, attracted by the enhanced pattern of education that Children’s Academy had ushered in, started sending their children to the school and the demand was overwhelming.

The growing demand from the local and proximate population resulted in the formation of the first branch of Children’s Academy. This was set up at Ashok Nagar, Kandivali East, and then another branch which was launched in Thakur Complex, Kandivali East in the year 2001.

Though he retired from active work in June 1990, Mr. V. V. Bhat never hung up his boots. He kept planning various things for the improvement of his schools and his students. The Kaman Village plot acquired by him at Vasai was a part of these efforts. He erected the Children’s Campsite here, a place full of nature’s bounty for the students of the school to unwind. He planted various saplings here, doing his bit for environmental conservation.

It takes great nobility of mind and an unflinching determination to build any educational institution of this stature. That Mr. V. V. Bhat could build an institution that is consistently ranked among the top schools of the country speaks volumes of his dedication and lofty ideals. He started a rivulet in 1970 which has today spawned into a large river, comprising of three esteemed schools, spreading its waters of education to around 10,000 students.

His passing away on 15 August, 2001, left an irreparable void in not only the Children’s Academy Group of Schools, but in the world of education as the whole. His loss is felt not just by his family and close friends, but his large extended family of thousands of students, teachers and other staff members of the Children’s Academy Group of Schools.

Today, Mr. V. V. Bhat is surely smiling when he looks down from the heavens to see such a sprawling, well-equipped institution that outshines most other schools within the city. We have not reached the finishing post yet, but surely we are leagues ahead of most of the pack.

We still have a lot of ground to cover to fulfil Mr. V. V. Bhat’s dream. These last five decades of the academy and its immense growth is just a drop in the ocean of educational excellence that Mr. V. V. Bhat had envisioned and strove for all through in his memorable life.