B'luru pros join hands to demand water for Bayaluseeme villages

B'luru pros join hands to demand water for Bayaluseeme villages

Software engineers, bankers and doctors hailing from the Bayaluseeme (plains) region of Karnataka and working in Bengaluru have come together to save their villages reeling under severe drought.

Professionals from Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Ramanagar and Bengaluru Rural have launched a movement called ‘Shashwatha Neeravari Horata Samithi’ (or Permanent Irrigation Action Committee) and are mobilising people to join them in urging the government to fulfill their basic right to water.

Shivaprakash Reddy, a software engineer, said they had created a youth wing ‘Yuva Shakthi’ to involve working professionals and students. “Three years ago, we started the movement by mobilising people from this region on social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp. Today, more than 100 techies, bankers, doctors, teachers and students are actively involved in this. We have the support of more than 5,000 people on social media and they will attend our rally scheduled for this Saturday,” he added.

Reddy, a native of Chikkaballapur, said he still vividly remembers seeing lakes and rivers flowing in his village in his childhood. But now the place is nothing but a barren land. In the last 15 years, scanty rainfall has led to a drastic drop in ground water level, which has now reached 2,000 feet and become poisonous because of fluoride. Previous governments have only given promises to people that they will get water from Bhadravathi, Cauvery or Yettinahole but nothing has happened to date.

Pratap Reddy, a native of Shidlaghatta taluk who is a sales managers at a bank in Bengaluru, says he too remembers swimming in a rivulet called Papagni along with his childhood friends in his village, but not a drop is left there. “Some 15 years ago, ours was a lush green place dotted with many trees. But everything has been cut down or gone dead now. Farmers back home were quite well-off. They still own a lot of land but cannot cultivate it due to water scarcity. Many of them have migrated to Bengaluru to work as construction labourers,” he noted.

Yuva Shakthi volunteers are taking part in rallies held at Chintamani, Shidlaghatta, Bagepalli, Gudibande, Srinivaspur, Gauribidanur and Mulbagal, plan to hold regular meetings in Bengaluru.

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