HUBBALLI: Sangamesh Ramangouda, 24, is now a household name at Chikkayelligeri village of Saundatti taluk in Belagavi district. Sangamesh, also known as Somu to his friends, was rescued after being stuck under debris for over 60 hours when an under construction building came crashing down in Kumareshwar Nagar in Dharwad on March 19. Though the tragedy claimed 19 lives, Sangamesh’s ordeal was nothing but short of a rebirth.
He was offered a hero’s welcome at Chikkayelligeri when he visited the village for the first time after the tragedy.When he reached his village, his friends carried him on their shoulders and firecrackers lit the sky. Sangamesh’s family conducted a puja at the village temple. “My parents were the most happy to see me alive. They had received a call a day before I was pulled out, that they should make arrangements for the funeral. But luck was on my side. I was also conversing with other trapped people — three of them did not make it,” he recalled.
Sangamesh’s tale has also impressed Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who called him hours after he was rescued. Kumaraswamy, who wishes to meet Sangamesh, has asked the local JD(S) leaders to bring him to Mandya for a few days. Sangamesh was working at the JD(S) office that was located on the first floor of the building.
“We left the building and Sangamesh was in the office after lunch. Within seconds, the building crashed,” said Shrikant Jamnal, JD(S) corporator from Dharwad.“The CM was happy to know about the rescue as he had visited the site. He (CM) has asked us to bring Sangamesh for a meeting in Mandya,” he added.