By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: The District Administration, Zilla Panchayat and the SC/ST Welfare Department jointly celebrated the 97 birthday of the former Chief Minister Late D Devaraj Urs, at the Nethravati Hall, Urva here on August 20.
The programme began with an invocation by the students. The programme was inaugurated by the president of Zilla Panchayat K T Shailaja Bhat by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais. She then showered rose petals to the portrait of D Devaraj Urs.
Essay competition that was held on the life of ' Devaraj Urs ' for students of different levels, prizes for the winners were distributed during the occasion. The students who excelled in their examinations were also felicitated.
Addressing the gathering Shailaja Bhat said, "Devaraj Urs had given first priority to the land reforms and his slogan was "Land to the tiller", under him a sustained effort was made to equalize the land distribution through out the state. He carried out one of the most successful land redistribution programme in the country. This land redistribution programme led to break the power of the Lingayaths and Vokkaligas which were previously the most dominant castes owning land.
Further she other schemes implemented by Urs included the building of shelter for migrant workers, the forgiveness of rural debit and a plan to have a light bulb in every house. She also said that Devaraj Urs did not believe in caste system as he perceived it as a great tragedy, which was introduced by some self centered rulers for their self interest and benefit. He strived hard for the eradication of caste system. He distributed land to the landless laborers and worked hard to provide shelter to the homeless through' Garibi Hatao' scheme.
While concluding she said to take' Urs ' as our role model and follow in his footsteps. Today when we remember him, one should not forget his contribution to the society.
Deputy Speaker Yogish Bhat, MLA U T Khader, Janardhan Gowda, Chennappa Kotian, CEO, Zilla Panchayat Dr N Vijayaprakash, Mamatha Gatti and ADC Dayananda were also present.