Villagers of Sudi in Karnataka’s Gadag district would have missed the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, a rare astronomical event, if not for a government school teacher at the village.
Informing the villagers about the “wonder in the sky”, 40-year-old Ashok Undi asked them to assemble at the spot where he had set up a high-power telescope — the terrace of the school building. Coming in droves, the villagers watched the stunning sight through the telescope.
Ashok told The New Indian Express that he is happy to “spend almost half of his salary on new equipment for the government school and likes to involve the locals in such activities”.
Ashok, who periodically screens science-based documentaries for people, had in the past shown them eclipses.
Anita, a resident of Sudi, who watched the conjunction, said, “We had heard about planets but never thought we could watch them closely. It was a complete fun experience and for someone who spends most of their time in fields and the kitchen it was good knowledge. Ashok sir had told us about this before he showed it through a telescope. All of us, kespecially the women, enjoyed it a lot. We asked him to show us more such events as we are interested in science.”
“I try to do this all the time. This time, I thought I would show my people particularly the seniors and women the conjunction of planets. Most residents of our village watched the rare astronomical phenomenon. Now, they are demanding that I conduct classes on more such scientific matters,” said Ashok.