Dharmasthala, Nov 30, 2016: Reports state that Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) will associate itself actively in the cleanup and maintenance of 100 village tanks in rain deficient districts of north Karnataka. This was announced by D Veerendra Heggade, Dharmahikari, Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala at the 84th session of ’sarvadharma sammelan’ organized by the Kshetra as part of the annual Lakshadeepotsava celebration. This effort will peak in February 2017.
L H Manjunath, executive director, SKDRDP, told media that village tanks are the primary source of drinking water for residents of many districts in north Karnataka. However, water in most of these tanks is dirty and the surface water is usually contaminated, making them unfit for human use. Compounding woes of villagers is the fact that these tanks run dry towards the end of January and early February, leaving them exposed to a long waterless summer, he said.
This happens due to lack of periodic upkeep and cleaning of tanks, Manjunath explained post cleaning and rejuvenation, steps will be taken to ensure rain water is stored in it during monsoon. Describing the project envisaged by SKDRDP as purely a watershed activity, Manjunath said it also involves creating awareness among villagers to keep their respective drinking water source clean and the project will be implemented in 100 tanks in north Karnataka districts.
"We have set aside Rs 10 crore for the project," he said adding the activity taken up in 10 village tanks in Kalaburagi and Dharwad earlier this year at a cost of Rs 30 lakh was an outstanding success. The villagers with their active and direct involvement ensure that funds allocated by the Kshetra was not wasted, he said adding this is where government sponsored projects of similar nature fail. "The focus was on repair, rejuvenation and maintenance of tanks," he noted.
Clean temples for spiritual vibrancy : The other important announcement that Heggade made was to ensure cleanliness of sanctum-sanctorum, gopura as well as that of internal and external premises of temples in Karnataka before Makara Sankranti next year. Members of 18,000-odd SHGs functioning under SKDRDP will associate with local voluntary organisations in this onerous task. Adding he conceptualized on this idea just two-days back and minute details need to be worked out.
Aim of this is to ensure spiritual vibrancy in temples dotting the state and will involve bringing on board the temple managements, the administrators, priest and the devotees. The programme has a spiritual and religious background to it, Heggade said adding taluk wise list of temples will be prepared before the programme is rolled out on ground. "We will explain the need for this endeavour to the volunteers and how they should go about it after detailed planning," he said.
The announcement was also spurred by an added sense of responsibility cast on the Kshetra, which as per a survey carried out by an English magazine, was adjudged cleanest temple town in India, Heggade said. "We spend lakhs on temple festival, be it on electrification, decoration and other aspects, but only a small part on cleanliness," he said adding the Kshetra outsources this task to a dedicated group who ensure that the temple premises is clean during Lakshadeepotsava.