SKDRDP’s lake rejuvenation campaign turns a success
452 lakes revived in Karnataka
Dharmasthala, May 15, 2022: Indians worship Lord Shiva for his role in Ganga’s descent on Earth. Similarly, hundreds of villagers in the parched areas of Karnataka thank Lord Manjunatha (one of the famous names of Shiva) and Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala for reviving the ‘vanished,’ tanks and ponds of their villages.
Building a tank or pond near the settlement was a tradition right from Civilization till the rule of the Kings and Queens in this country. Names like Bukkana Kere (Pond constructed by Bukka), and Sadashiva Sagara (Pond by King Sadashiva Nayaka) stand testimony to this.
The water body was the center of activity in a village. Be it birth or death, daily works, or agriculture-related works, people would depend on the lakes and worshipped them.
But as the Civilization began inventing things, this traditional water body started losing its charm. Herbs and shrubs grew, and old constructed materials were dumped on the lakes. In many places, illegal encroachment killed the water body that was a source of life for thousands of people. Lakes in many villages ‘disappeared,’ finally bringing a drought-like situation.
While agriculture faced a severe problem, people had a tough time with drinking water too.
Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr. D Veerendra Heggade, who is known for his silent revolution, witnessed this problem during his visit to various parts of the state.
He noted that villages had the source of water but still faced a water crisis.
Dr. Heggade and his wife Dr. Hemavathi V Heggade then came out with a simple solution which has now turned out to be a major revolution in various parts of the state- ‘Nammuru Namma Kere. He decided to enforce this project through Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP).
The name selected itself was to ensure that the people felt a sense of responsibility. ‘Nammuru Namma Kere’- can be translated as ‘My Village Our Lake’ and naturally villagers would get a personal touch with the project. It is a unique project with local participation and support from SKDRDP.
Starting in 2016, as many as 452 lakes have been revived and rejuvenated. In the last 100 days, 110 lakes have been revived in different parts of the state.
Today the project has become a model and is attracting the people.
“We need clean air, water, and a peaceful environment to protect our health. It is the duty and responsibility of every citizen to preserve the beautiful nature in good condition and save it for the next generation.
Lakes are a source of water and are useful for human beings, animals, and birds. Many lakes are not being used properly today due to lack of rainfall, illegal encroachments, excessive rains, siltation, etc. In 2016 “Nammuru, Namma Kere” was implemented to rejuvenate the lakes and to create awareness among the people. The farmers of the respective villages are getting the benefit. Thousands of acres of farmland of farmers have now turned into fertile agricultural land. The groundwater level has increased. Agricultural yields are high. There has been public awareness about the conservation of lakes. The program has received good response and cooperation across the state,” Dr. D Veerendra Heggade says.
“Until we lose anything, we don’t realize its importance. When you regain what you have lost, the joy is different. Now, when I see the brimming lakes in different places, I also see the smile on the faces of the villagers,” Dr. Hemavathi V Heggade notes.
“Sometimes the lake works are carried out even in areas where there is not much rain and when it rains, there is water good water there. It is heartening to hear the news that Bidar, Kalburgi, and Kolar have also received rains and the lakes are full “. We must dig a pot, that is, a lake, and keep it ready to collect the water when God gives. More important than lake rejuvenation is to maintain the lake. When the lake is kept clean, it becomes as fit for drinking. The lake committee should take extra care in this regard. Because, as the name suggests, it is “our lake in our village,” she added.
“Nammuru Namma Kere is the best example of how a voluntary organization can implement participatory programs in rural water management. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Heggade ji and Hevamati Heggade who have made all the arrangements to implement the program. I also wish the staff of the project who are implementing this with commitment and to all the office bearers of the local coordination committee who have taken responsibility for it. I pray to Sri Manjunatha Swamy to make this program a success and in creating necessary awareness among the villagers about managing their lakes and solving the problem of drinking water,” SKDRDP Executive Director Dr. L H Manjunath added.
- Rejuvenated lakes: 452
- Silt removed: 11.86 crore cubic meter
- Additional water collection capacity: 887.83 crore gallon
- Benefitted agricultural land: 1.14 lakh acres
- Benefitted Family: 2.03 lakh
- Support from SKDRDP: Rs 30.58 crore
- Local share (silt transporation): Rs 33.29 crore