Today Hon. PM Narendra Modi in his “Mann Ki Baat”, spoke about this person. Kame Gowda the Pond man of Mandya
84-year-old Kame Gowda is an illiterate shepherd from Dasanadoddi village in Malavalli Taluk, Mandya, Karnataka
He had done something which even many Governments haven’t done
While our greed in cities is killing all the ponds and building concrete jungles on them.
He has dug 16 ponds in his village in the last 42 years and built the Green ecosystem in his village
These ponds are filled with water all year round — even during the scorching summers.
It was about 42 years ago when he realized that the almost barren Kundinibetta hill next to his village had sparse shrubs with almost no greenery. While taking his flock of sheep grazing on the hillside, he saw animals and birds stressed from lack of watering holes on the hill. Whatever water the hill received through rain, only flowed down its slopes. It hardly retained any water and what little remained either evaporated or got absorbed into the ground.
Why not develop a pond to provide animals and birds a watering hole? It started from there
Now the kundinibetta hill presented is lush green, thanks to the 14 ponds, linked by a waterway that ensures when the upper ponds on the hill are filled, the surplus water flows into the ponds below.
People called him Madman as he was So passionate and addicted to looking after his 16 ponds. For the last 42 years, almost every day between 5 am and 9 am, he has dug ponds, and grazed sheep from 9 am to 7 pm.
To begin with, he sold a couple of his sheep and purchased a shovel, spade, pickaxe, and other tools to dig a pond so that animals and birds easily got water to survive. He started digging the land and the first one was done at Daasanadoddi, taking more than six months. Later, with his little savings, he hired workers who helped him to dig other ponds. All his 16 ponds are interlinked.
He has given his grandchildren’s name to these ponds. He even brought grass from outside to grow them on the hillock, so that soil moisture remains and trees remain green. Kamegowda has never taken a loan.
He has spent more than 10 to 15 lakh for the ponds, mainly cash from Basavashree and other awards where they gave me cash.
He says I spent this money only on maintaining the ponds. I have two acres of land … if I did not spend money on ponds, I would have made a few more acres and a better house
If I give my children, grandchildren money, it will be spent and they’ll become bankrupt. Instead, if I give them these ponds that have water throughout the year, they will be the richest,’’
Kamegowda, who resides in a small incomplete house said “When some people give me cash for my personal use, I will say yes, and like a drunkard who spends all that money on liquor, I spend the money on the ponds. It is an addiction!’’
He stills wants to continue and build 4 more ponds and make it 20
While the whole world appreciates a joker like Greta Thunberg and pays her family millions of dollars for doing dramas in the name of environmental protection
Kame Gowda is unknown, unsung and forgotten real hero
Courtesy – Ashwini Sripad