BANGALORE: The students of Soundarya PU College successfully held a cleaning drive at a holy pond (kalyani) in Thyamagondlu village at Dasanapura on Tumkur road.
The pond located next to Sri Kashi Visheshwara Temple is said to be 500 years old and was covered in weeds and garbage. A 42-member NSS Unit took up to cleaning the pond on October 9.
The students contacted Jagadish from local Panchayat, who gave them a tractor to dispose off the waste. The campaign was co-ordinated by Peerya Naik and Manjunath C P from the NSS wing.
“We got to know about this holy pond from Gopala Krishna, an Art of Living staff member. It was about 80 feet deep with steep walls. It was quite dangerous. We had to make sure that the weeds were harmless before going ahead,” said Naik.
The students claim that none of the villagers wanted to help them initially. Naik says, “Only one person named Shivanna came to help us and offered guidance. Later, the students found some beehives in between the weeds. Some of them also got bitten.”
Devika Shetty, a second PU student who was part of the initiative, said, “I can't believe we did it. The weeds were so thick and dense. Only when we cleaned up the entire pond and saw the water underneath did we realise what we had accomplished.” Basava Gowda, a first PU student, said, “Cleaning this kalyani in one day would have been impossible. But with the co-operation of all our students and teachers, we did it in seven hours.” The villagers started coming out to witness the work in the evening. Ratnamma, a 75-year-old woman, felt that she had witnessed a miracle. “In the morning, when the students started with enthusiasm, I thought they would clean about half of it and leave. But in the evening, I could not believe what I saw. We did not know there was a kalyani here,” she said.
The students and faculty members urged the village Panchayat members to make sure that the kalyani is kept clean and maintained well.
According to H Kumar, principal of the college, the kalyani is located at about 25 km from Nagasandra post in Yeshwanthpur. It is said to have been built during the Chola period. But the temple was constructed much later in 1883. Kundur Komarlu Mangamma Hanumanthiah Shetty, a villager who had gone to Kashi, brought back a linga from Kashi,and the temple was built around it.