Rahul Prasad, a final-year student of RV College of Engineering, wasn’t even 20 when he first visited Bhadrapura village, located about 3 km from Mysuru Road. Today, at the age of 24, he has adopted the entire village and its 140 households, and is dedicated towards transforming it.
The first time Rahul had gone to Bhadrapura, it was for a medical camp for children. He was there with some other volunteers who were distributing toothbrushes, soaps and other material for the people of the Hakki Pikki tribe there. The team was also conducting classes on hygiene. But after participating in few such camps, Rahul realised that nothing much was changing. The village needed more than just soaps.
There was a need for long term engagement. That was when he decided to adopt it and really change lives.
Source: Rahul Prasad/Facebook
Rahul’s organization, Juvenile Care Charitable Trust works for underprivileged children. He has taken permission from the Manchanayakanahalli panchayat development officer to continue work in the village, where volunteers keep visiting during the weekends for welfare activities, while Rahul visits more regularly.
Last March, Rahul received the prestigious UN Karmaveer Chakra Award and REX Global Fellowship, instituted by the Indian Confederation of NGOs in association with the United Nations.
Located in Ramanagara district of Karnataka, the village has several issues that need to be solved.
“For me, the village has become second home now…We’ve identified three major issues bothering the villagers. They lack hygiene, with clogged roadside drains turning into breeding e grounds for mosquitoes. Open defecation is still a reality, despite the village being within 50km of IT City. The nearest hospital is about 8km away,” Rahul told The Times of India.
Hakki Pikki is a tribe of nomads. They make garlands and decorative items with plastic and clothes and sell those during Diwali and Ramzan. Rahul’s team is planning to establish their business by providing the villagers with a cooperative platform. He also wants to provide the village with alternate power sources like piezoelectric generators.
“The elders are sceptical about these college guys. But we youngsters don’t want to pass on our nomadic lifestyle to our children. This can happen only through good education,” says a 23-year-old resident of the village.