'Trigon' triggers new hope among Pavoor Uliya islanders

Sahyadri engg college students work for the cause for people

It was way back in 1968, the spectre of mass eviction was looming large on 50 and odd families at Pavoor Uliya island on the outskirts of Mangaluru.

However, a chapel, named Infant Jesus Chapel, was built to keep the flock of majority Christian population together, dissuading them from falling prey to any such rehabilitation packages from the government. Four decades have elapsed and yet there is no sign of authorities refraining from shifting the left over 38 families here.

However, their demand for adequate basic facilities, mainly bridge connecting Uliya Pavoor and Adyar, remains a pipe dream. In the absence of surface transport, rowing boat is the only mode of transportation, ferrying people from either side, indeed with danger lurking as and when the water level at river Netravathi brims, mainly during monsoon.

Now, the dwellers have found a ray of hope in ‘Trigon’, a 14-member team of engineering students, a mix of civil engineering and mechanical, from Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management. The team members with a motto ‘Make A Change’ (MAC) and led by Alister Sujith Lasrado have been running from pillar to post from the past one year to ensure that the islanders here get their due.

Alister said, “I have mailed a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on April 6 itself explaining the plight of people living here. An acknowledgement was received on April 10 saying that action is in the making.”

Common plan
Alister and his like-minded friends have a common plan --- to impress upon authorities for building a bridge, setting up reverse osmosis (RO) plant to ensure safe drinking water for islanders and a five-year plan for the benefit of the locals. Most importantly, sewage lines on the foot way that connects the shore from national highway 66.

On one hand, they have been keeping track of local MLA and Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader promise to build a bridge, for which an enhanced estimate of Rs 5 crore is ready, while on the other hand, they are attending meetings at gram panchayat to keep the pressure up in local level.

They have also been doing their bit to raise funds for setting up RO plant as most of the people depend on salt water for drinking purpose. They have launched google forms a week ago and have succeeded in collecting Rs 5,000 already, a good start indeed, they claim in chorus.

A year ago
Alister said, a year ago, attempts were made again to shift them in the name of rehabilitation to Innoli.
Some officials from Pavoor Gram Panchayat had also visited them to process the formalities. But the people resisted, thus restraining the officials from going ahead with ‘eviction’ plans.

Unwilling to shift to elsewhere, they want the authorities to build the bridge, while the rest will be taken care of by the ‘Lord’.

How it all started
How the plight of islanders at Pavoor Uliya came to focus again is a rather intriguing
story.

It all happened on last Shivaratri day, when Alister bunked classes.

With a penchant for exploring new places, he thought of visiting the island near to his college. Till then, he had heard about the island only from his policeman father, who had jotted details about it in his beat book.

Since then, Alister frequented the island for six months only to understand travails faced by the people. It was not that easy, with islanders sensing something amiss in a new face on their land. However, it was momentary, as Alister explained them about the purpose of his visit to do his bit for their cause. Since then there was no turning back and also the ‘one-man force’ was joined by his two other friends Allan Loy D’Souza and Jonatha Adriel Rodrigues making for ‘Trigon’ (meaning triangular). They found 11 more like-minded friends in Shwetha Gollarahalli, Akshay, Mohammed Ifshaq, Jevin Maria D’Cunha, Chaithra B M, Ameen Nazeer, Vinson, Suraksha K M, Saman Ayyub, Raksha and Rashmitha.

Pavoor to ‘Oreo Island’
Whenever ‘Trigon’ members mark any achievement, they gather at their regular jaunt opposite college for drinking ‘Oreo shake’ (a mix of oreo and milk). Inspired, they have re-named ‘Pavoor Uliya’ island as ‘Oreo Island’, that regularly features in their conversation as ‘Oreo...’

Not just that, if they come across any people from the island, they call them as ‘Oreo people’, ‘Oreo Kids’. For any other thing, ‘Oreo’ is the prefix.
 

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