Hundreds of residents in Mandur, a village in Bengaluru’s backyard that bore the brunt of the city’s poor solid waste management for several years, mourned the death of H.S. Doreswamy.
It was the freedom fighter who took up cudgels on their behalf in 2013 as they fought against the dumping of Bengaluru’s waste there. His involvement forced the then Congress government to give in writing that garbage would no longer be dumped in the village.
“We owe our life to him,” said Byresh M.J., who was part of the struggle then and is now a member of the Mandur Gram Panchayat.
In an interview with The Hindu in June 2020, Mr. Doreswamy had said: “In 2013, I chanced upon Mandur. I went into the village and realised the city has been dumping garbage in this village for many years and life there had turned terrible. As a Bengalurean, I felt guilty, responsible, and a need to atone for my sin. I sat on a fast and ensured that the dumping of garbage in the village was stopped.”
After news of his passing reached the village, a few residents placed his photo at the main circle and offered floral tributes.
“We couldn’t do much due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Mr. Byresh, who added that the gram panchayat would name a prominent location after him. “We will propose to name the new road from Budigere Cross to Kempegowda International Airport after Mr. Doreswamy,” he said.
Once the waste in the two landfills in the village have been cleared, the area has been proposed to be developed into a park and playground. “We will name it after our Mr. Doreswamy,” said Mr. Byresh.