This Kannada Bhakt conductor never uses any other language

This conductor is unique. He is known as ‘Kannada Conductor’ to the regular passengers travelling by bus in which he performs his duty. You will never get to hear the usual ‘Hold On’ or ‘Stop’ words from his mouth. He uses the pure Kannada words ‘Sagali’ and ‘Nillali’.

The name of this Kannada conductor is Prakashaiah Rajashekhariah Shivayogimat. He is a native of Kavadimakki village in Muddebihal of Vijayapura district. At present, he is residing in Dharwad. He has been working as a conductor for the past 12 years in the KSRTC bus, attached to KSRTC Hubballi Unit-2, which shunts between Dharwad and Hubballi. He is ably supported by his colleague, driver of the bus, Mustaq H Patnol.

Concern for the Kannada language

The concern of Kannada of this conductor starts from the moment the passengers board the bus. He tells the passengers to board the bus slowly and not to stand on the footboard in Kannada by saying ‘Mellage Hatthi’ and ‘Mettila Mele Nilladiri’. Instead of saying ‘Right’, he uses ‘Sagali’ in order to give a go-ahead for the driver to move the bus. If he sees any old person, pregnant woman or those who carry a child in their arms, he requests the other passengers to offer their seats for them by saying ‘Yaradaru Hridayavantharu Ivarige Asana Bittukodi’.

He also alerts the passengers to buy tickets and not to get caught by the inspectors. He says “Cheeti (ticket) Keli Padeyiri, Sikki Biddare 500 Rupayi Danda Kattabeku”.

When the bus needs to be stopped, if the bus is full of people, then he blows the whistle. Otherwise, he says ‘Nillali’.

Kannada names for English bus stops

There are several bus stops in between Hubballi and Dharwad which are popularly known by their English names. The specialty of this conductor is that he translates all these names in Kannada language and uses only the translated names. So Central Bus Stand (CBT) becomes ‘Hosa Bus Nildana’, SDM is called as ‘Shree Dharmasthala Manjunatha Aspathre’, Corporation building is called ‘Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike’, Court is referred as ‘Nyayalaya’ and Railway station is addressed as ‘Ugibandi Nildana’.

Loved by many, loathed by some

There are passengers, though less in number, who have not understood the Kannada used by Prakashaiah. There are some who have even got down in the wrong bus stop as they could not make out that he is referring to the English name of the stop in Kannada. Some people tell Prakashaiah on his face that they are unable to understand his language. However, there are many who acknowledge and appreciate his love for the Kannada language. Regular passengers board the bus as soon as they see this conductor on duty.

The senior officers of the KSRTC depot here will not forget to alert the new recruits about the love of Prakashaiah towards Kannada. A judge of the high court, who was highly impressed by his Kannada, had invited this conductor for a cup of tea. In the department Prakashaiah is held in high esteem for his smiling face, love for the Kannada language and patience.

Publicity-shy Prakashaiah does not allow taking his photograph, saying “I do not do this for publicity,”