Sitting atop the Karighatta hills, on the outskirts of Srirangapatna, Karnataka is the Venkataramana Swamy temple. Devotees often have to trek their way up the steep hill to pay their respects at the temple.
Being a regular at the temple, Ramesh Y would often make his way up and down the hill, sometimes several times in a week. Every time he passed the withering trees on his trek, it filled him with sorrow. The rocky hill was largely barren and the few trees that did manage to grow were subject to blistering heat and lack of water.
One day, Ramesh decided to try and save the remaining trees and plants on the hill: “I could see a few plants around, but they weren’t tended to. I built small bunds around each and watered them. It was quite a task, which I soon realised was also in vain. This wasn’t going to work. It was too hot and the water would seep in too fast,” he told The Times of India.
Ramesh, who is a supplier of mineral water in Srirangapatna and nearby areas, learnt that drip irrigation was the best way to keep trees and plants alive. Given his limited resources however, there was no way he could lay pipelines around the hill.
The 40-year-old was discarding used water cans when he hit upon the perfect solution: “Why not use this for drip irrigation? I had plenty of such cans at my disposal. Using them would be cost-effective and would easily serve the purpose,” he says.
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Image for representation only. Source: Pixabay
Ramesh began to cut the bottom half of the used cans. He then suspended these cans upside-down and filled them with water. The water would dribble slowly down to the roots, watering the plant.
Within a few days, Ramesh began to notice a difference; his modified drip-irrigation was working.
“Once filled up, the cans could hold water at least for two to three days. This made my job easy and I extended the project to many more trees so that I could alternately water them,” he says.
Ramesh’s efforts over the last five years have paid off. He has saved more than 100 trees and the hill is now a lovely, lush green. It is even attracting birds and animals.
Ramesh plans to continue his good work: “My dream is to see this area converted into a dense forest. It will definitely help in increasing rainfall in this area,” he says.