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Saturday, April 13 2024
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To spread ‘Swacch Bharat’ message, 72-yr-old man cycled 3 months a year

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Dharmasthala: The nation is going gaga over Swacch Bharat in the recent past. The government is investing huge financial resources to give the entire country “a true face lift.” Many organisations are striving to hog the limelight by contributing on their own. Celebrities are drawn to make the campaign successful.

In all this rush, to “do something-to-everything”, true messengers of the campaign fail to get attention. Forget recognition! Has the country noticed the efforts of hundreds of people contributing on their own to keep the surroundings clean as well as educate others by their own deeds?Meet one such unsung hero, Seventy-two-yr-old Umapathy Mudaliar, a resident of Amalgiri Malekal Tirupathi village in Arasikere taluk, the modern day “Pitamaha” of Swacch Bharat campaign, who started cycling to spread the message way back in 2003.

An electrician by profession, septuagenarian Umapathi takes a 3-month break from routine to do what is dear to him. Cycling around the width and breadth of this nation to spread the message of cleanliness is his only mission and plans to hang his boots in 2019, with age not in his favour,

He owns an ordinary cycle and a semi-circular message board with Mahatma Gandhi’s picture and inscribed words, “Swacch Karnataka, Swacch India.” Having covered around 30,860 kms till date, Umapathi was in Dharmasthala to witness Laksha Deepotsava.

He rates Dakshina Kannada and Udupi among the cleanest districts in the state. Feeling proud of Dharmasthala, Dharmadhikari Dr. Veerendra Heggade in appreciation of his works, aged Umapathi intends to wind his campaign in 2019.

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Deepak Atavale

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