Kame Gowda has been credited with afforesting an entire hillside and also reviving 16 ponds.

Karnataka conservationist receives lifetime free bus pass after praise from PMFile image
news Environment Thursday, July 02, 2020 - 19:28

The state Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation on Thursday awarded a lifetime free bus pass to Mandya man Kame Gowda to travel in all classes of KSRTC buses as directed by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. 

Kame Gowda (84), a shepherd from Mandya’s Mavali taluk had recently grabbed headlines after he was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his widely broadcasted speech as part of Mann ki Baat. He has been credited for afforesting an entire hillside and also reviving 16 ponds, all by his own efforts. 

Incidentally, Kame Gowda had risen to prominence in the recent years when he was accorded with the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award in November 2018, along with former Union Minister Margaret Alva, former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu and former Olympics sprinter Kenneth Lawrence Powell.

His desire for a bus pass was made public through an interview by the English daily The New Indian Express. He said he wants a bus pass so that he can visit temples in the vicinity.

In the interview published on Thursday, he was quoted saying that during the award ceremony in 2018, he had asked the then CM HD Kumaraswamy to arrange a bus pass for him. But till date, he had not received it, despite assurances.

In a statement, Shivayogi C Kalasad, Managing Director, KSRTC said, “Shri.  Kame Gowda's unique environmental concerns and achievements is cited by the Hon'ble Prime Minister, during his Man Ki Baat Program. Hon'ble Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka, too appreciated his exemplary achievement and directed to issue free bus pass to Sri Kame Gowda.”

He added, “Shri.Kame Gowda's contribution is immense, wonderful and replicatory. To recognise his yeoman service, a lifetime free bus pass to travel in KSRTC buses is being issued.”

Following the mention by PM Modi, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat had also spoken with him via video call.

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