An initiative by a group of volunteers to help improve the groundwater recharge at Villivakkam

The temple tank at Somya Damodara Perumal Temple in Villivakkam is now drawing a lot of attention. For the wrong reasons. It is bone dry and in a state of utter neglect.

A group of young boys have taken it upon themselves to restore and recharge the temple tank. They work on it during the weekends.

This initiative is led by D. Bhasker Babu, an employee of Integral Coach Factory, to help restore the beauty of this ancient temple.

“I was raised up in Villivakkam and this temple is an integral part of us. Once upon a time, the tank never dried up. Now, by January itself, it goes dry and children play cricket there,” says Babu, who also runs a non-governmental organisation Nalmanam. About 26 student volunteers of Nalmanam are helping Babu clear up the tank of its litter. “We do not have the money to donate, but we can do our bit in the form of physical work,” says Mr. Babu.

The plan is to complete the work in two months so that when monsoon sets in, the tank will be ready to collect water. Cleaning the tank and filling it with water will help groundwater replenishment in the area.

Even the temple authorities agree that only such initiatives by devotees can bring back the pristine ambience of the place. “The 20 ft tank used to hold 18 ft water but that’s all gone. For the last three years no Teppotsavam (float festival) was conducted,” says R. Ravishankar, clerk at the temple.

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