Mangaluru

Man builds shelters for bus passengers at Sasthan

One of the two bus shelters with a traditional Marige and filtered drinking water tank built by Chandrashekhara Maiya and Archana Maiya at Melpete, Sasthan, on the flanks of National Highway 66 in memory of his grandfather Narasimha Thunga in Udupi district.  

The grandson has attempted a repeat of what his grandfather used to do some six decades ago — providing shelter and drinking water to commuters — by building two shelters for passengers, providing drinking water for animals as well as the general public, on the flanks of NH 66 at Melpete-Pandeshwara in Sasthan village of Udupi district.

“Alumni of St. Antony School on the other side of the highway, who are now settled down in different places, often recalled how they used to visit my grandfather Narasimha Thunga’s house to drink water, with jaggery. Though many weren’t thirsty, they drank water for the sake of jaggery,” said Chandrashekhara Maiya, a newspaper agent-cum-3D animator. At a time when people mostly travelled by foot and when the Mabukala bridge across the Sita river connecting Kundapur region with Brahmavar region was not built, the Late Thunga kept drinking water and jaggery at the forecourt of his residence. It was called “Hebbagila Mane”, meaning house at the entrance.

Commuters used to relax a bit in the forecourt after quenching their thirst. This was also clearly etched in the mind of Mr. Maiya who began saving money since about six years ago to repeat his grandfather’s gesture. The Late Thunga was his maternal grandfather, while Mr. Maiya lost his father when he was 24 days old. His mother, Shreemathi Maiya, came to stay with her parents after husband’s death and Mr. Maiya continued to stay there.

The Late Thunga’s old house existed on the place where the new shelter towards Kundapur has come up now.

The 45-year-old Maiya, who has ben into newspaper vending for 21 years now, has spent over ₹6 lakh to get the shelters constructed. The other shelter was built off NH 66 carriageway towards Udupi, abutting the St. Antony School.

He has also installed a purified drinking water unit at the shelter on the road towards Kundapur to quench the thirst of commuters. As if it was not enough, Mr. Maiya found a 400-year-old Marige (small stone tank to feed water to animals) and placed it next to the bus shelter for animals to use.

Sri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamiji of Udupi Pejawar Mutt and Fr. John Walter Mendonca, Parish Priest, St. Antony Church, Sasthan, inaugurated the facilities on Wednesday in the presence of Mr. Maiya’s Guru Madhusudhana Bairy, mother, wife and others. The religious heads lauded the gesture of Mr. Maiya.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 3:44:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/man-builds-shelters-for-bus-passengers-at-sasthan/article34330487.ece

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