Bengaluru, June 29 — Karnataka’s octogenarian Kamegowda thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to dig 16 ponds in his village for rainwater harvesting before the monsoon.
“Kamegowda (85) was delighted to know that Modi spoke of his efforts to store rainwater by digging ponds in the village of Dasandaddi in the village of Mandavalli taluk of Mandya district,” an official from the state’s water resources department said IANS.
Mandya is about 100 km southwest of Bengaluru on the way to Mysuru.
In his weekly radio show “Mann ki Baat” on Sunday, Modi said with the start of the southwest monsoon in many parts of the country, people should practice harvesting rainwater to protect the environment, as Kamegowda did in Karnataka, even though he is more than 80 years old.
“Kamegowda has dug 16 ponds thanks to his hard work. He’s just a farmer, but his personality is extraordinary. The work he has done sets him apart from the others. At his age, Kamegowda took cattle for grazing and dug ponds in his village. Asked about his achievement, he said there was a water shortage in his area, he was digging more ponds to conserve water for the people,” Modi said in his national speech in Hindi.
Although the ponds dug by Kamegowda may not be large, his efforts were enormous, Modi said, adding by digging so many ponds, he had revived the bodies of water in his area.
“Kamegowda is an inspiration to the people in the country, as it has been creating bodies of water over 4 decades, which turned the Kundinibetta hill green and provide water for drinking and agriculture,” added the official.
The state government honoured Kamegowda with the Rajyotsava Award in 2019 in recognition of its yeomen community service.