MANGALURU: Come rain or shine, one man’s rainfall updates have a huge following on social media platforms in Dakshina Kannada’s Sullia taluk in Karnataka. Meet avid farmer and rain analyst PGSN Prasad. Prasad has been keeping updates of daily, monthly and average annual rainfall in his region so that farmers can plan their agricultural activity accordingly.One recent WhatsApp post of Prasad on the arecanut farmers’ group reads like this: “35 mm rainfall in Balila. 0.9 mm rainfall during the corresponding period in previous year.” The rainfall figures in millimetres, which Prasad shares with others, is independently sourced from his humble rain gauge—a cylindrical glass jar placed at the backyard of his home at Balila in Sullia taluk.
Every day at 8 am, Prasad meticulously keeps a record of the rain water collected in the cylindrical jars and it’s no passing fad for him. When he is unavailable, his wife Malini Prasad or sons Vineeth or Vijeeth pitch in. Prasad’s 40-year-old hobby dates back to 1976. While studying in SSLC, Prasad was inspired by his father who was a passionate observer and recorder of fluctuations in the monsoon pattern.
“My father P S Govindaiah would make entries of changing weather patterns in his diary,” he recollects. Prasad’s vast data on rainfall in Balila village, 80km from Mangaluru, has made him an undisputed authority on rainfall distribution. Based on the data, Prasad says that from 1976 to 2016, the region received 4,468 mm of rainfall. He has it all in his head, as he reels off data about the highs and lows of rain in his taluk.Many farmers, inspired by Prasad, have installed rain gauges under his guidance.