Udupi: The swimmers at the Nayarkere pond here had a pleasant surprise on Saturday when Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes swam with them.
Mr. Fernandes, who came in the morning, interacted with everybody, including one of his old friends. He then dived into the pond and swam for a while. An avid yoga buff, Mr. Fernandes also performed some “yogasanas”.
Speaking to presspersons, he recalled his younger days when he went to swim in the pond with his friends. “I will contribute from my MP’s Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund to develop this pond into a swimming pool. We also can build a beautiful sports complex here with the cooperation of the Udupi City Municipal Council and the district administration,” he said.
Stressing the importance of physical and mental fitness, he said: “I have given funds from my MPLAD Fund for the construction of a gymnasium at the district stadium here. Wherever I go I propagate the importance of yoga and physical fitness. I have a gym in my house. I do yoga and bodybuilding exercises. Yoga and bodybuilding should be introduced in schools.
” The pond was renovated last year with public contribution. K. Jayakar Shetty, swimming instructor, said: “Oscar and I learnt swimming together when we were young. We even used to till land together as Oscar was then into agriculture.”
About the pond, Mr. Shetty said: “I teach swimming here free of cost. We want the pond to be developed as a swimming pool. The pond also helps in recharging the water table. Whenever there is water in this pond, the wells nearby never go dry.”