A tribute better late than never to two towering leaders

Villages linked to KH, Shantaveri get funds for basic amenities, memorials

A tribute better late than never to two towering leaders

The State government has, at last, paid attention for the development of two villages which have great political significance. While one is the birthplace of late chief minister Kengal Hanumanthaiah (KH), another had close association with late socialist politician Shantaveri Gopala Gowda.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil recently, under the Gram Vikas programme, granted Rs 75 lakh to Lakkappanahalli, the birthplace of Kengal Hanumanthaiah in Ramanagar district.

A similar amount has been granted to Kallur, a hamlet in Thirthahalli (Shivamogga district), where the followers of Gopala Gowda have not been able to complete, for the last 17 years, the construction of a community hall in memory of their leader.

Lakkappanahalli, 9 km from Ramanagar town, has a house where Hanumanthaiah was born in 1908.

Some of his family members reside in the house and thus it is out of the government’s purview.

The credit for the efforts to develop the village in terms of roads, hospital, educational institution among others goes to Choodaiah, a retired government official who was associated with the late chief minister and is also a native of Lakkappanahalli.
Choodaiah’s struggle to improve this tiny hamlet began three years ago.

Dearth of facilities

“Hanumanthaiah built such a magnificent Vidhana Soudha. But his village lacks even basic facilities like road and water. The population of the village is 511. We want to make use of the special grant given to the village for road construction, drainage development and community hall named after Hanumanthaiah, instal a bronze statue of him in the primary health care centre premises and also have a library with all reading material related to the late chief minister,” Choodaiah said.

According to him, the total plan size for the works is Rs 1.39 crore. Congress leader S M Krishna, under the local MP’s development fund, had sanctioned Rs 3.5 lakh for the statue.

The family of Hanumanthaiah’s brother has donated land for the hospital. JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has promised to give Rs 20 lakh for road development.
Villagers are planning to complete the work by October 2016, Choodaiah said.
Similar efforts have been made at Kallur hamlet.

Memorial construction

Kallur Megharaj, the managing trustee of the Shivamogga-based Shantaveri Gopala Gowda Socialist Study Centre, has been running from pillar to post for many years to see to it that Kallur gets a memorial of Gopala Gowda, though his birthplace was Araga, a village in Thirthahalli.

“Comprehensive development of the village is going to happen through the gram panchayat. The priority is to complete the construction of the community hall which is named after the late leader. Over the years, many have contributed in their own way for building the hall. But, there is still a long way to go,” he said.

The statue of Gopala Gowda was unveiled in April 2005. Now, the plan is to have a library where literature on not only Gowda, but also on other socialist leaders is available, Megharaj said.

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