The course of a campaign

Young messiahs

Members of Uttara Nammadu carrying out relief work in Kaiga.

Our country lives in its details, most of which are never accessed or discussed in limelight. They face problems and overcome them on their own, most times their heroic tales of survival unsung.

Very recently such an instance unfolded in a remote place of Karnataka which almost diffused into existential crisis, thanks to the unstoppable rains and the gut-wrenching flood damage. Yes, many parts of Karnataka underwent flood damage, but most of them were provided precious little help from governmental and non-governmental organisations. But this small village of Kaiga situated on the lower end of the Kadra dam wasn’t as lucky.

Heavy rains caused the overflow of water in the Kadra dam, owing to which 10 gates had to be opened which consequentially flooded the small village located at the lower end. As many as 300 families were affected by the flood, 67 of whom completely lost their households. Kaiga Panchayat has managed to establish a rescue centre at a school, with the most basic of facilities that barely managed to sustain the village population.

The heroic tale of its survival initiated when a group of young men from Udupi took it upon themselves to shoulder the reconstruction of the village. Youngsters Avinash Kamath, Harsha Shet and Shashikanth Shetty from Udupi formed a team of 25 students from across the district and initiated a campaign named ‘Uttara Nammadu’ through which they collected flood relief materials.

No money was raised here, but materials of basic survival including food, grocery, clothes such as sarees, bed sheets, soaps, toothpaste, brushes, mats, and cleaning agents such as phenol and bleaching powder. Residents from Udupi made whatever donations they could, in big and small quantities which were segregated and packed by the team of students aged 20-23.

As many as 12 students accompanied by the trio travelled to Kaiga in two ambulances and distributed basic amenities, but not so much to their surprise – things fell short. With some quick thinking, the team made a video and circulated it online, stating the plight of the village, inviting whatever forms of help people could offer. The video received an amazing response — people collected materials for Kaiga from Hassan, Kundapur and some even came around to provide financial help. Kaiga is now slowly rebuilding itself with assistance from able hands from around Karnataka.

The panchayat development officer of the village, Aruna, personally approached the team to thank them for their efforts, stating that the village has been able to survive the crisis owing to their support. Help arrived in the village through the only means of news, which was the video created and circulated by this team under the campaign name ‘Uttara Nammadu’.

They initiated the campaign with hopes of providing assistance to the village that remained isolated but ended up laying a strong foundation for its revival. 

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