Sairam Bhat : A Mahatma Living in Kasargod

published on October 25, 2008

Septuagenarian’s concern brings cheers among the deprived

Courtesy agency PTI

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Driven by the philosaphy that peace of mind need not necessarily come by visiting centres of pilgrimage but by extending a helping hand to the deprived, a 71 year old man here has built 148 houses for poor mobilising funds from his own resources.

K N Gopalakrishna Bhat, popularly known as Sairam Bhat, has become a role model for others by resolving to generously allocate a major portion of his family’s income to build decent accommodation for those who find it extremely hard to build one on their own.

With seven more houses scheduled to be handed over by IGP (North Zone) V Shantaram at Badiyaduka near here on May 7, the number of roof-tiled houses with one hall,bedroom and kitchen each costing roughly Rs 50,000, built with resources generated solely from Bhat’s family for the deserving poor from various castes and religions, is touching the 148 mark.

Hailing from a traditionally agriculture family, based at Sithangoli near Badiyaduka in the northern most district, Bhat,who was getting ready to visit the pilgrim centre of Varanasi way back in 1995,dropped his plans once and for all after an impoverished labourer from a nearby locality sought his help to construct a house.

“If I could fulfil the dream of the hapeless labourer, I might be more at peace and closer to God.I resolved to use the money mobilised for the pilgrimage and managed to mop up an additional sum to build the first house for the labourer,” Sairam Bhat told

“That was a turning point in my life. I later resolved to allocate a major portion of my family’s income earned out of intense farming, ayurveda practice, performing poojas, with the objective of providing accommodation, drinking water, medicine, perceived as basic human necessities for a healthy living,” Bhat, traditionally an ayurvedic expert, said.

And the saga continues as the warm-hearted man, with the close supervision of his son Krishna Bhat, a cultivator, also focusses on ensuring drinking water facilities to the house premises dotted in the nearby four to five panchayat limits and to set up free medical camp, both allopathic and ayurvedic and free supply of medicines on Saturdays.

“Around 300 to 400 patients visit the medical camp from 06.30 AM to 01.00 PM every Saturday, where both allopathic and ayurvedic doctors are pressed into service, while medicines purchased on bulk and those received as physicians samples are distributed among the needy patients,” Bhat said.

The money for undertaking his pet projects comes from his family owned farm, where rubber, coconuts, arecanut, cashew and cocoa are cultivated using intense farm techniques, he said, adding that the income received by way of performing poojas are also used for meeting the mounting expenses.

Young Venugopal, an Engineer in a Bangalore-based firm, is also toeing the lines of his grand-father by sending a major portion of his savings home to help his family meet expenses for its social obligation, Bhat said, while decrying the general tendency to mobilise wealth rather than use them for some welfare oriented programmes to benefit society at large.

“One need not necessarily visit places and temples to worship God. Peace should come to us by way of sincere and genuine efforts for a humane cause,” contends the priest, who claims to have close links in the past with rulers of nearby Mayipadi and far off Travancore region.

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