Mandya (Karnataka), Oct 17 (UiTV/IANS) – Kame Gowda, an environmentalist, whose efforts to build 16 lakes were praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, passed away on Monday in Mandya district of Karnataka.
Also known as Kalmane Kame Gowda, 86-year-old Kame Gowda breathed his last at his residence in Dasanadioddi village.
PM Modi had praised Kame Gowda for his efforts to build 16 lakes in the region in his monthly radio programme ‘Man Ki Baat’ on June 28, 2020.
Gowda, a shepard, born to Venkata Gowda and Rajamma couple, did not go to school. However, his love and association towards his flock of sheep brought him closer to nature.
After PM Modi mentioned his name and lauded his achievement, he came into limelight. The Associated Press published a detailed article on him through which his efforts were recognised at the international level.
PM Modi had stated that Kame Gowda, who had built lakes on his own money for the sake of birds and animals is a model. Kame Gowda, came to know about the importance of water. He had taken up “Jal Kayak” (water preservation) with hard work. Due to his efforts the green cover in the region has improved, PM Modi then stated.
Kame Gowda had spent his life time savings to build water bodies. He had expressed that he wanted a house, job for his children and land for the development of lakes.
During the tenure of former CM B.S. Yediyurappa, the government had provided financial assistance. Presently, Health Minister Dr K. Sudhakar had taken care when Kame Gowda fell ill.
Talking about what made him build water bodies, Kame Gowda had said that he could not get drinking water in the Kundur hill region due to which he faced a lot of difficulty. He had to walk a long distance, asking for water from strangers’ houses. That made him think, what would the birds and animals be doing in the absence of water.
That inspired him to build lakes. People laughed at him and called him mad when they saw him digging dry lands. However, unaffected by all criticism, he continued his work.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai paid his condolences to Kame Gowda and lauded his efforts.