An 82-year-old man from Mandya district of Karnataka has done something great which every Indian after knowing his story will be really proud of him. He is Kamegowda. At an age where people are taking bed rest, this man is still caring and protecting the environment ever so well.
He has built over 14 ponds on the hillside which retain water even during the scorching summer season. He has by far spent nearly Rs 15 lakh from his own pocket in building the ponds because of which he earned various awards in designing, developing and maintaining these ponds.
Kamegowda, a shepherd lived in a hillside in Kundinibetta, and he noticed that it was slowly turning into barren land. So he took upon the responsibility of building ponds. First, he had no funds but he sold his sheep which paved him the way for affording farming tools and he spent almost six months digging his first pond.
For the last 4 decades, he was busy spending 12 hours on the field, between grazing his sheep and digging the pond as well. He says, “Sometimes, I used to go to the hillock to dig a pond during the night with a lamp or also on a full moon day.”
“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. 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 says.
Kamegowda can’t read or write. He has financial problems and he lives in a small house on a two-acre land. He always wanted to create some space for animals and birds to have access to drinking water and it was when he started to build a small pond, according to a report by Deccan Herald. In an interview with the Indian Express, he says that he has named all these ponds after his grandchildren.
9 of these ponds are located in Panathalli and the remaining ones are at Kundinibetta. Kamegowda never shies to visit these ponds on a regular basis, which goes to show how much love he has for the entertainment. He says, “Do you eat only one day and starve the entire year? I cannot dig a pond a day and ignore them for the rest of the year.”
The selfless service to Mother Nature should be rewarded handsomely. Let’s make a small effort to share this article so that it would bring to the notice of the Minister of Education, both Central and State government. His story should be added to the school curriculum. Words are not enough to describe him and once again well done for the wonderful commitment to a good cause close to his heart.