Bengaluru: Karnataka’s ‘Lake Man’ Kaamegowda who constructed 16 ponds at his native village was recently praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The 84-year-old man had only one desire, that was to get a free bus pass, so that he can travel and visit temples in neighbouring districts of the state. Today (July 2), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has issued him a free bus pass for lifetime.

Kaamegowda hails from Dasanadoddi village in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district. He has never expected any award or reward for the work he is enjoying for the past four decades.

“He has achieved a personal feat that will leave anyone awestruck! Kamegowdaji, aged 80-85 takes out his animals for grazing but at the same time he has taken it upon himself to build new ponds in his area,” PM Modi said in his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

In the 40-plus years, the ‘Lake Man’ has constructed 16 smaller ponds at Kundinibetta, a hillock at his village, helping fellow shepherds and  animals.

In 2018, while receiving the Rajyotsava Award from the Karnataka government, Kaamegowda opened up about his desire for a free bus pass but it took almost two years to get it in his hands.

He is also the recipient of Basavashri Award. He spent the award money on his lake mission.

Recently, Kaamegowda also had an interaction with Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. He requested the minister to fund and facilitate the interlinking of his lakes. The minister has assured full support to the farmer while asking Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa for all possible assistance in this regard.