BANGALORE: It took devastating floods to bring them onto Bangalore’s streets. The entire government machinery — from city MLAs, MPs to top police brass, — was led by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa as they mobilized funds for victims in the flood-ravaged districts of Karnataka on Wednesday.
Yeddyurappa and some cabinet colleagues went on a padayatra seeking donations from the public in Chickpet, one of Bangalore’s major commercial hubs. The response was overwhelming and funds poured in with people thronging the narrow lanes. At the end of the day, the collection was an impressive Rs 12.5 crore through cheques and demand drafts. The cash is yet to be counted.
Yeddyurappa, Bangalore South MP H N Ananth Kumar and cabinet ministers including V S Acharya, Shobha Karandlaje and Katta Subramanya Naidu moved slowly through the narrow streets in an open jeep.
While senior ministers were in the jeep, his junior colleagues moved around with collection boxes and walked along, asking for donations. People came out to see this unusual spectacle. Several traders, merchants and shopkeepers and several associations readily donated money.
Several cloth merchants and traders packed new clothes in sacks and handed them over to the ministers. Almost every other trader of Balepet seemed to have a sack to donate.
Yeddyurappa said there would be more padayatra in the next two days and the government would also collect money in district centres.