BENGALURU: Very few beginnings are as humble as a meme page, but the Namma Karnataka Memes page started as just that and now leads community initiatives like planting trees and helping strays. The page started off in June 2013 with the simple yet an expansive goal of “betterment of the Kannada language and the Karnataka state”.
Pavan J D began the page under the title “Troll On”, meant as a platform for Kannada memes. The title was later changed to Namma Karnataka Memes to align with their motto of “promoting the Kannada culture”.
In 2014, he invited his friends to be admin of the group also to generate more ideas. The page highlighted the achievements of Kannadiga actors, athletes and people in any field. This was done to promote “the state’s culture and heritage and cultivate a pride in them”, according to Pavan. An aspiring filmmaker, Pavan also produced a documentary on Saalumarada Thimmaka to raise funds for her afforestation efforts.
“While doing the documentary I thought if an old woman can do so much, why can’t we”?” he says. This inspired him to start his first volunteering event “Adopt a Tree for Green Bengaluru” last year, for the Environment Day on June 5. This was done in collaboration with Namo Samaj.
After the first event, the page received immense support and gathered more followers. The group started to do more like organising visits to orphanages every two months. They also planted over 5,000 saplings along with Saalumarada Thimmakka.
Besides social drives, their cultural initiatives included holding events and programmes that promote the state’s culture and traditions.
The Namma Karnataka meme has over 4 lakh followers on Facebook and around 1 lakh followers on Instagram. Their followers don’t restrict their support to online platforms, instead show up as volunteers in the events hosted by the group. “This page is not just a Facebook page,” says Pavan. “People feel strongly about it and we all work together as a family.”
On Sunday, May 7, The Namma Karnataka Memes Foundation was part of the “Water Bowl for All” event. This was done to help birds in summer.
For the event, Vruksha Foundation had gathered close to 40 volunteers who fashioned water and feed bowls from plastic bottles and mud containers. This will be done every summer, with support from Namma Karnataka Memes Foundation.