The historic step well, or Kalyani of Gyaragatta village in Tumkuru district of Karnataka was cleaned and rejuvenated as a part of the Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) fortnight campaign. SHS is being observed across the rural areas of the country from 15th September to 2nd October, in the run up to Swachh Bharat Diwas.
The swachhata activities were carried out under the leadership of Sri L. K. Atheeq, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and Sri Gandadhara Swami, Mission Director, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department. During a video conference, they encouraged all district officials to clean and restore all stepwells in their respective areas during the SHS 2022, among other activities.
The step well was famous as there was a temple of the Anjaneya deity nearby that dated back to the 18th century. At that time, the locals relied on it as a significant supply of water for their irrigation, washing, and drinking requirements. However, the Kalyani was abandoned during the last several decades and the area became unsuitable due to the accumulation of trash and prickly shrubs.
To highlight the need to restore the waterbody and restore it to its former glory, a Jatha (rally) was held among students and the village community, followed by shramdaan when all people participated with great enthusiasm. On September 19th, around 45 volunteers (swachhagrahis) and the village community keen to restore the water body began the task of cleaning the entire structure and its surroundings. The people were overjoyed to see their old stepwell being desilted, cleaned, and revitalized.