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Water warrior Kamegowda who won PM Modi’s accolades passes away at 84

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Bengaluru, Oct 17: Kalmane Kamegowda, known as 'Kere' Kamegowda, passed away on Monday due to age-related ailments. He was aged 84.

He breathed his last at Dasanadoddi village in Malvalli taluk in Mandya.

Water warrior Kamegowda who won PM Modi’s accolades passes away at 84

Kame Gowda, an octogenarian shepherd from Mandya's Dasanadoddi, had dug 16 ponds in his area to curb water crisis. He came to the national spotlight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned him in 'Mann ki Baat' radio address in 2022 where he called him a "water warrior".

PM Modi had narrated the story of Kame Gowda and his efforts to solve water scarcity in his village. The Prime Minister had said that the shepherd had dug the ponds from his own savings and converted the barren hillock into a bed of lakes.

Responding to the PM's appreciation, Kame Gowda had said, "The Prime Minister is using all his knowledge to save people from COVID-19 and he remembered me. It is the greatest joy of my life."

He was recognised for his work by the previous HD Kumaraswamy government which had awarded him with the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award in November 2018.

The Karnataka government also honoured him with a lifetime free bus pass to travel in all classes of state road transport buses.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has expressed his condolence over the death of Kame Gowda.

On Twitter, Gowda said, "I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Kalmane Kamegowda, the 'modern Bhagirath' of Malavalli taluk of Mandya district. His contribution to the increase of ground water by constructing lake embankments with his own money is invaluable. I pray that God may rest his soul in eternal peace."

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