Kerala: The laborious desk jobs of people prevent them from engaging in physical exercises. Even a 500-metre walk feels like a huge labour. Climbing the stairs leave them fatigued and breathless. However, Kasargod’s 67-year-old teacher’s story is remarkable. She has been teaching children for more than 50 years and covers a daily distance of 25 kilometres barefoot. Her name is KV Narayani and is popular in her local area as Narayani teacher. 

Who is Narayani?

Narayani is a resident of Kasargod, Kerala, and is known for her incredible dedication to teaching. For the last decade, she has been living in a rented one-room house near Cheruvathur railway station with her husband, Damodaran. Her husband used to work in a hotel, but his deteriorating health has prevented him from doing any sort of work. 

Narayani completed her class 10th from Rajas High School, Nileshwar, in the year 1971. She could not continue her studies after that due to lack of money. At the age of 15, she started teaching without ever continuing her education or receiving formal teacher training. Despite all the limitations, she has acquired proficiency in four languages, English, Hindi, Malayalam and Sanskrit. 

Leaving for work early in the morning

Narayani’s day begins at 4.30 in the morning. She completes all the household chores and leaves for work. By 6.30 am she reaches her student’s house. She can always be seen carrying a bag with a torch and an umbrella. Her first student lives in Manitattu, after that she proceeds to visit each of her students’ homes and returns back at her home before nightfall. Her income only comes from the tuition fees she earns, and she uses this money to purchase medicines for her sick husband. 

Covid times

Even during the lockdown period, Narayani teacher remained committed to teaching children. She followed all the precautions of regularly using sanitizer and wearing face mask. She shares that she did not take a single day off during the lockdown. Teaching has become an integral part of her life, something that she cannot imagine her life without. 

Making an impact

Over the years, Narayani has taught students of all ages. She has influenced her students to do better as is evident from the fact that many of her students have acquired respectable positions at different places. A lot of her students have settled in foreign countries and a remarkable example is of Kavya Madhavan who is an actress in the South Indian film industry. Several of her students have pursued MBBS degrees and are doctors today. 

Narayani shares that neither her students or parents have ever complained about her teaching methods. She has taught more than a hundred students and they consistently achieve good academic results.


Narayani teacher has been following the same route for 50 years. She never experienced any problems until last December, when she was on Muttalai National Highway at 5.30 in the morning, and a group of people came in a suspicious car and accosted her. They forcefully took her money and belongings, including her bag, umbrella, glasses and torch. The incident was reported to the police and matter was never investigated. 

The inspiration

Narayani is a pious follower of Lord Murugan. She frequently visits the Palani temple and prays for her family’s wellbeing. Her devotion is so profound that she refrains from wearing shoes as she thinks that it might pollute the devoutness. Every year, she embarks on a pilgrimage journey to climb Palani hill which has approximately 693 steps with a total height of 500 feet. Narayani considers walking barefoot as an integral part of her daily fasting. 

Narayani’s only aspiration is to own a house of her own in Kasargod.