The State government has chosen Shri Shivaji Kagnikar for the D. Devaraj Urs Award for 2018. The award, which carries a purse of Rs. 5 lakh and a citation.
The award will be presented by Chief Minister HD Kumarswamy at an event to be held at the Vidhan Soudha.
Shivaji Kagnikar from Kattanbhavi has been working with his Jana Jagrana organisation which has been credited with starting of night schools in remote areas and also creating awareness about education and water conservation among the rural folk.
About Shivaji Kagnikar:
A shepherd by birth, a Gandhian by choice, a highly sensitive educator by default and a justice seeker by genetic compulsion, meet Shivaji Kagnikar the man who is spreading literacy and also empowered the citizens of Kattanbhavi village to sustain their lives being ecologically friendly. During his school days, he was inspired by Sane Guruji, a great thinker, and promoter of literacy and he decided he too will have to take this route at some point in life. The village well would go dry mid-summer and people used to get water on the rationing basis. With no employment and little agricultural activity, each one was depending on money lenders and the many were addicted to liquor.
At this time Shivaji Kagnikar along with Ram Apte, Sadashivrao Bhosle took meetings and explained to the villagers what can be done to get them out of this menace. A few villagers were taken to Anna Hazare’s (date needs to be inserted)village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmad Nagar by Jana Jagran the NGO which was helping him in this activity. The situation of Ralegan Siddhi was very similar to that of Kattanbhavi and hence if a model worked there, a similar model should work here as well as the thought. About 1 lakh trees were planted in kattanbhavi & Ningenhatti. With afforestation, many species of birds and even wild boars, peacocks, have made it their home. Nigenhatti which was more of a barren land a decade ago is now completely full of trees of various fruits and agricultural. Be it afforestation, water management, co-operative societies for milk sector or education and night school Shivaji Kagnikar has led it through from the very beginning and shown nothing is impossible when u stoop to conquer with simple living and high thinking.
With simple thoughts and practices Shivaji Kagnikar has changed the fate of these villages and even today he is on the same mission telling the youngsters about why the conservation of the environment is very important.