Rotary Club of Mysore South East, RID 3181, has constructed a 48-feet-long check dam in the middle of a dense forest, 10km from the Bandipur Tiger Reserve near Mysuru. “The region, spread over 800 sq km. has a thick wildlife population. After the monsoon, when the dam fills up it will help animals and birds get enough water,” said assistant governor Harish H M. Every February and March, a majority of waterholes dry up, resulting in severe hardship for animals.
The district has undertaken watershed development as one of its focus areas this year and Rotary clubs have been urged to construct check dams wherever possible. The club, led by M Rajeev and secretary M Mohan, agreed to implement the project which cost ₹6.5 lakh after taking due permission from the forest department. “As the region is located deep into the forest we had to spend double the money for transport of material. We were happy to engage local labour,” said Rajeev.
DG Ranganath Bhat inaugurated the check dam in the presence of district secretary Vikramdatta, conservator of forests S R Natesha and Kannada film actor Darshan Thoogudeepa. Bhat congratulated the club members for “implementing one of the best projects of the district”.
Generally monsoon sets in Bandipur in July and the area sees good rain until December. The six-feet deep check dam can collect enough water to last through the summer months, said Harish. The facility will benefit a local tribal community in the vicinity too, and the dam will be maintained by the forest department.
Earlier this year this club, along with its Inner Wheel club, rejuvenated a pond at Hadinaru, a village 18km from Mysuru. “The place used to attract several migratory birds but over the years the numbers dwindled due to poor maintenance of the water body. We spent ₹4 lakh and removed around six tonnes of waste from it., said Rajeev. An RCC was formed in the village to take care of its sanitation, hygiene and other needs.
In addition, a hearing aid distribution camp was conducted in association with the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, and hearing aids were given to 100 villagers.