MCF reaches out to help the flood-affected people of North Karnataka
Destruction after nature’s fury is inevitable; relief rescue and rehabilitation become a challenge to the local and the community. Mysore Citizen Forum, which was established to help people at the time of difficulties, came forward to help the flood affected people. The relief material worth Rs. 10 lakh collected by the former MLA M.K. Somashekar for flood-affected areas in north Karnataka was sent as immediate measure.
Rice & Medicine as immediate measure
Mysore Citizen Forum (MCF), as an immediate relief measure, sent 500 quintals of rice to flood-hit Bagalkot district along with its volunteers. Former MLA M.K. Somashekar collected relief materials worth Rs. 10 lakh, including medicine, food grains, clothes and utensils, and arranged to have them transported to affected areas in north Karnataka. He accompanied few volunteers along with doctors to address the immediate needs of the people and provide medical assistance. An amount of Rs. 22 lakh collected for the tsunami victims in 2004, which had remained unutilized by the forum, was utilized to help the flood victims.
Padayatra to help flood victims
With an objective to raise and collect funds, President of MCF and Suttur Math seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji along with legislators and MPs took a padayatra, appealing to the public to donate generously. The then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa appealed to Swami to take up the responsibility of constructing at least 10,000 houses for the affected people. Mr. Yeddyurappa had assured him of a matching grant from the Government for the funds collected by the MCF. At least Rs. 50 crore was needed to build the houses and only generous contributions from the public helped them collect the amount. The padayatra led by Suttur mutt seer Sri Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami to collect donations proved quite a windfall allowing the Mysore Citizen Forum (MCF) to reach out to the flood victims in northern Karnataka. The padayatra fetched over Rs 5.5 crore. While Rs 1.40 crore reached the MCF, the citizen body will get another Rs 4.26 crore to chalk out a plan of action to support the victims. The seer took a Padayatra at Nanjangud also. Such padayatras were organized across 65 wards in the city. Representatives of cooperative banks, businessmen, industrialists and other associations also came forward to lend a helping hand. As the fund collection drive started, the city responded positively. The cash-rich Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) donated Rs 1 crore while the Mysore City Corporation pitched in with a promise of Rs 1 crore. It donated Rs 7 lakh and has promised to get the remaining Rs 93 lakh soon. Mayor Purushothama presented a cheque for Rs 1 crore. As soon as the padayatra commenced from the Krishnaraja Circle, money started to pour in. The MUDA contractors’ Credit Cooperative Society donated Rs 5 lakh. Mysore MP H Vishwanath, who partook in the drive, promised to provide Rs 50 lakh from his MP local area development fund. The Mysore District Central Cooperative (MDCC) Bank, Mysore Chapter of Builders’ Association of India (BAI) and Wine Merchants Association promised Rs 25 lakh each. Nanjangud-based Bannari Amman Sugar Factory has promised Rs 20 lakh and the University of Mysore Staff Rs 15 lakh. Hotel Owners’ Association and Jewelers’ Association have promised Rs 10 lakh each. Mysore industrialists have told the MCF that they would contribute Rs 1 crore for the flood victims.
Permanent homes through Housing Project:
MCF, led by Swamiji, once again proved that it is committed to help the people affected by the floods. MCF came forward to help solve the problems of the homeless. Housing project to build permanent houses was taken up. Besides this, Sri Suttur Math would provide free education, boarding and healthcare for all those children of the displaced to families, according to Swamiji.
Villages Selected for the Rehabilitation
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The Mysore Citizens Forum (MCF) has constructed 1,200 houses in three flood-affected districts of north Karnataka with approval from the government for the construction plan. The MCF agreed to entrust Chandraleka Constructions, a Delhi-based construction Company, the task of building the houses in the first phase. Each house is estimated to cost around Rs. 1,23,500. MCF would build 1,200 houses in five villages — Kodiyala in Bijapur district, Kala-Ingalagundi and Kyada in Bagalkot district, and B.S. Beleri and Basarakonda in Gadag district.