Devdas hebbar - A versatile person and president of the old students’ association

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By Eugene Moodubelle - Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 19 December 2009: Devdas Hebbar has been a familiar face as a compere in various political, cultural or religious programmes and functions in the villages of Belle and Kattingeri. His association with various organizations in different capacities has been keeping him busy throughout the year. He being the past student of St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle and the President of the Old Students’ Association, when i requested him for an interview for the series on the past students of St. Lawrence High School for the Bellevision, Devdas Hebbar readily agreed to spare some time and we met in the conference hall of the Belle Grama Panchayat for the interaction.



Born on 23rd January 1965 at Kattingeri, Devdas Hebbar is the last among seven children of Subraya and Saraswati Hebbar, four of them being sons and three daughters. Devdas had his education up to SSLC in Moodubelle, first in the Church Aided Higher Primary School and later in St. Lawrence High School. He belonged to the 1981 SSLC batch and has vivid memories of his High School years.


Fr. Alexander Lobo was the Head Master when Devdas was in the High School. He says that, though Fr. Alexander was very strict and a stickler to discipline, he had the interest of the students close to his heart. For the benefit of the students, Fr. Alexander organized extra coaching classes. The favourite subject of Devdas was English and he still remembers Saldanha Sir who taught him that subject. Another subject of his interest was Social Studies taught by P.D. Kamat Sir.



While in High School, Devdas participated practically in all extra and co-curricular activities such as fancy dress, skits, debating and extempore speeches. In sports his favourite items were running and long jump. He would participate in all five categories of the athletics competition during the annual sports day, as he says, not with the intention of winning but for the sake of participation so that others could have an opportunity to win. A noble thought indeed! Among his close friends, Devdas remembers Dr. Norbert Lobo, presently working as a lecturer in St. Aloysius College, Mangalore and Marcel, both from Kattingeri.


After completing SSLC in St. Lawrence High School, Devdas continued his PUC in St. Mary’s College, Shirva and thereafter proceeded to Bangalore and acquired Diploma in Electronics from the HAL Institute at Hulsoor. Armed with a Diploma in Electronics, Devdas tried his luck in Bangalore to get a job. He appeared for an interview in the BPL Company and was even selected. However, destiny willed in a different way as Devdas had to return home due to some unforeseen domestic problems.


As Devdas was keen in acquiring a degree, he rejoined St. Mary’s College Shirva for the graduate course in arts and eventually got his BA degree. Though Devdas looked after the cultivation of the agricultural land that his family possessed, he was keen to have a secured gainful employment and joined the Vam Organics (Vamicol), a Birla Group of Company dealing with all kinds of adhesives as Sales Executive where he worked for three years.


Deciding to be closer home and hoping to venture into independent business, Devdas took the bold step of starting a printing press in Moodubelle in 1993 under the name of Bharati Printers. However, unfortunately he had to close down this venture in 2002, as printing technology had advanced and the up gradation of his printing press to computer printing technology involved a lot of investment which he felt the local demand would not be able to sustain.


For some time Devdas concentrated on agriculture. Out of five hectares of agricultural land he got two hectares cultivated producing two crops of paddy and pulses. Besides, coconut plantation did give the family considerable income. Meanwhile, Devdas worked as an LIC Agent for nearly eight years. Presently, he is the advisor to the ING Vysya Life Insurance with its office in Udupi.


Devdas Hebbar took a plunge into politics when he contested Belle Grama Panchayat elections from Wards 3 and 4 of Kattingeri in 1994 and since then was elected consecutively for three terms. He was a member of various Panchayat committees and eventually became the Vice President of the Belle Grama Panchayat in 2005 and continued in that post till 2007.  During this period, Devdas took initiative in distributing over 52,000 saplings of various plants and trees to the people. He also distributed 12,000 Common Corp and Katla varieties of fish which were used for fish farming in  the tanks of  Kattingeri and Babbarya Kere. Devdas was the Director of the Cooperative Agricultural Bank at Moodubelle from 1996 to 2001 and its Vice President from 2001 to 2003. He was the General Secretary of the BJP party in the Kaup Constituency from 1998 to 2001 and is presently its Vice President. Devdas worked for the development of Kattingeri village and was one of the leaders who tried to get the benefits from the MLA and MP funds for the development of the roads and lakes in Belle and Kattingeri.



Subraya Hebbar, father of Devdas Hebbar had been the Managing Trustee of the Shri Brahma Lingeshwara temple at Kattingeri. However, due to his ill health, since around twenty years, Devdas has been acting as the Managing Trustee of this temple. He is also the President of the Shri Brahma Lingeshwara Bhajan Mandali.


Devdas has been a social worker since his youth. Presently he is the President of the Jana Jagruthi Vedike of the Udupi Taluka which arranges awareness programmes in various schools and colleges with the help of resource persons such as doctors and psychiatrists, bringing to the notice of the students the ill effects of smoking, gutka, other drugs and  alcohol. He was the President of the Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Village Development Programme of Kaup Block from 2004 to 2007 and is presently the President of the SKDVD of the Udupi Taluka.


Taking interest in the Lions Club Movement, Devdas became the Charter Secretary when Lions Club was established in Moodubelle under the leadership of Commodore Jerome Castelino in 1997. He was the president of the Lions Club in 200-2001, Zone Chairman in 2002-2003, Zone Advisor in 2004-2005 and presently he is the Region Chairman which includes Lions Clubs from Manipal, Karkala, Udyavara, Shirva, Belman, Pernal, Padubidri and Moodubelle.


Devdas has a penchant for acting. He prefers comedy roles and has acted in dramas such as ‘Yi Ponnu Yer?’ and will be seen in an important role in the Tulu play ‘Panande Padhrad’ to be staged on the Old Students’ Day celebration on 30th December 2009. He has also acted in Yakshagana doing the role of Bhishma in ‘Bhishma Vijaya’.



Being the past student of St. Lawrence High School, Devdas Hebbar has been the President of the Old Students’ Association since its inception in 2006. Under his presidentship, the meetings of the Old Students’ Association are being held every two months with a General Body Meeting once a year. During this Golden Jubilee Year of St. Lawrence High School, the Old Students Association had promised to contribute rupees one lac towards the fund of five lacs of rupees that is being constituted to provide help to the poorer students. In order to raise this amount, the Old Students Association along with the Parents-Teachers Association organized a hilarious Tulu play “Budi Budi Gadi Bidi” on 21st November 2009, which was a great success in collecting more than the promised contribution. Devdas said that as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of  St. Lawrence High School, the Old Students’ Day will be observed on 30th December 2009 with programmes both in the morning and evening.


Devdas married Chandrika in 1995 and they have two sons-Suraj who studies in the 8th standard and Dheeraj studying in the 2nd standard. Like Devdas, Chandrika also has been active in social and cultural fields.  She was the President of the Preethi Mahila Mandala of Kattingeri and also that of Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Village Development Programme of Kattingeri. She has been a member of the Lioness Club of Moodubelle and was once its President.



With pleasing personality, full of youthful energy, pleasant and courteous nature and leadership qualities, Devdas Hebbar has endeared to the people of Belle and Kattingeri. There cannot be any doubt that he has been a versatile person. As the President of the Old Students’ Association, Devdas in consultation with Fr. Paul Sequeira, Principal of St. Lawrence PU College has been working hard to promote the Old Students’ Association with the enrolment of as many past students as possible. Devdas has been appreciative of the efforts made by the in arranging the online registration of the past students of St. Lawrence High School who are spread across the world.



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