Belvanaki village proud of its son

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By Sangamesh Menasinakai

12th May 2012 02:36 AM

GADAG: It was a day of surprise and pride for the residents of Belvanaki village in Gadag district, which is the native place of Samaj Parivarthana Samsthe (SPS) executive director S R Hiremath, who has been waging a legal battle against illegal mining, and thus being instrumental in putting former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa under the clutches of law.

Many villagers prided themselves on Sangayya Rachayya Hiremath’s achievement, but some of them were not aware of the fact that the activist belonged to their village. V S Policegoudar, a teacher, said he came to know that Hiremath belonged to the village just a month ago. “Though I knew our neighbour Rachamma (Hiremath’s mother) very well, I was unaware that he is the same Hiremath who has become a “nightmare” to illegal miners in the state,” he added.

Ashok, son of Hiremath’s elder brother Kallinath, said, “Though he left the village during his school days, he has been in touch with us and share our joys and sorrows all the time.”

He said his uncle left for Bijapur to pursue his education at Sri Siddeshwar High School and secured the first rank at the state level in SSLC exams. “Even he secured a rank in PUC exam, and got direct admission into B V Bhoomareddy Engineering College, Hubli. As he got the highest marks in BE (Mechanical), he was sent to the USA by the college itself.”

Another relative, Rajiv Hiremath, to whom SRH transferred his house and land site as a token of affection, said he was proud of his uncle’s struggle to save national resources. “I am, however, worried about his life. I want the government and the society to protect his life,” he added.

Marriage angered kin

Both Ashok and Rajiv said Hiremath earned the wrath of his uncle Gurunanjayya and other family members for marrying a foreign lady three decades ago. “Elders said that when Hiremath visited our residence along with his wife, Shyamala aunty, he was scolded by all family members. His marriage was, however, accepted by them later,” they added.

Meanwhile, Hiremath, who rarely accepts felicitations and appreciation, disappointed the villagers by not attending a felicitation programme on May 6, 2012, during the annual fair of Lord Veerabhadreshwar.

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