Jyotiba Manwadkar fought doggedly for MGNREGA work in his village
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Few persons exemplify that proverb better than 48-year-old Jyotiba Manwadkar, a resident of Handiganur village in Belagavi district, who single-handedly fought for a tank for his village.
It took him three years – and in the interim he vowed not to wear a new shirt till he had achieved his goal.
Jyotiba, who is an MGNREGA labourer, had to visit different villages in Belagavi taluk for which he had to travel more than 30 km everyday, and most of his MGNREGA income would go in the bus fare.
Speaking to thebengalurulive, Jyotiba said that he took an oath to fight for the rights of his fellow-villagers and ensure that a tank was built in his village so that more than 1,200 people could get MGNREGA work close to home.
Elaborating on his ‘shirtless’ vow, he said, “To get the sanction for a tank in our village, I had to visit several offices and I decided to wear the same shirt till I got success. Every second day or third day I would wash the shirt and wear it again while visiting various offices. It went on till January 23 this year when the state government approved construction of a tank in our village. Since then, I have started wearing other shirts!”
He said, “There was a lot of barren land in the village and I did a little homework and spent some of my own money in the process. I found out about 43.3 acres of land in Survey No 204 in our own village which has been in the state government’s name since 1965. I approached all the officers from the taluk level to the Zilla Panchayat level in the matter.”
MLA Satish Jarkiholi intervened
“I am a Maratha and for me it is a little difficult to communicate in Kannada with officials. It was our local MLA Satish Jarkiholi who helped me in this regard. He got the Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer to explain to me the procedure to get the government land for the tank,” Jyotiba said.
He added, “My fight started in 2017 and the then Gram Panchayat PDO and other members helped organise a Gram Sabha — which constitutes three neighbouring villages. It was attended by more than 300 people, of whom 294 voted in favour of building the tank for the benefit of not only the villagers but also the wild animals which enter the villages and damage crops in search of water.”
The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department’s additional chief secretary LK Atheeq visited the village on Sunday and reviewed the water harvesting project being executed on the land won by one man’s single-minded efforts.
After felicitating the local hero, Atheeq tweeted: “Meet the man who vowed not to change his shirt till the Govt sanctions land for building a tank. It took three years for Jyotiba (in pic with me) to get the land for the tank (pic-2) sanctioned. Jyotiba Manwadkar of Handignur Gram Panchayat standing here proudly in his new shirt!”
Meet the man who vowed not to change his shirt till the Govt sanctions land for building a tank— ಎಲ್ ಕೆ ಅತೀಕ್ L K Atheeq (@lkatheeq) June 8, 2020
It took three years for Jyotiba (in pic with me) to get the land for the tank (pic-2) sanctioned
Jyotiba Manwadkar of Handignur Gram Panchayat standing here proudly in his new shirt! pic.twitter.com/XHAij9Td9U