Moodubelle: Padmabhushan Dr B M Hegde Visits his ancestral village

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By Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pics by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 14 April 2012: Padmabhushan Dr. Belle Monappa Hegde, the renowned educationist, a native of Belle and the  former Vice Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) visited his ancestral village Moodubelle on the occasion of the annual Puje of Mesha Sankranti  in honour of Babbarya Daiva on Friday, April 13, 2012.


Following the Puje, a meeting of the villagers of both Belle and Kattingeri was conducted to explore the possibility of renovating the ‘Daiva Stahna’ of Babbarya. The ‘Sthana’ is located in isolated jungle and no religious functions have been held except the annual  Mesha Sankranti Puje.



After deliberations it was decided that a committee comprising of the eminent persons of Belle, Katingeri and Edmeru should be constituted under the guidance of Dr. B.M. Hegde to consider the renovation of the ‘Sthana’. Accordingly, Devdas Hebbar in consultation of the villagers constituted a committee of 50 members to chalk out programmes for the renovation of the ‘Sthana’.


Besides Dr. B.M. Hegde, the meeting was attended by   Ravi N. Shetty, Dharmapal Devadiga, Gopal Shetty,  Subhashchandra Hegde,  Mattar Ratnakar Hegde, Commodore Jerome Castelino, Mrs. Ida Gibba D’Souza and the villagers from Belle and Kattingeri.


According to Gopal Shetty, Babbarya Daiva had emigrated to Belle and settled down at Guddhottu well which gradually got expanded into the legendary ‘Babbarya Kere’ (Lake) nearly 800 years ago. The ‘Sthana’ of Babbarya is located in a thick jungle at the border of Belle-Kattingeri villages. Since 250 years there has not been any religious function except the annual puje. As the ‘Sthana’ has been in a dilapidated condition, it was felt that it should be renovated and the villagers had invited Dr. B.M. Hegde to be part of the programme.


Dr. B.M. Hegde took the opportunity to pay a visit to St. Lawrence Church. When he arrived at the church along with Commodore Jerome Castelino, Rev. Fr. Joswey Fernandes  welcomed him with flowers. Dr. B.M. Hegde expressed his desire to enter the church and prayed in front of the Main Altar for some time.



Later, in the office of the parish priest, when it was mentioned to him about the preparations that are being made for starting a new arts and commerce degree college in Moodubelle, Dr. B.M. Hegde whole heartedly appreciated the efforts and wished well for the new degree college. He also recalled that the land over which the church stands was donated by his paternal grandfather Orvady Manjayya Hegde over a century ago. Dr.B.M. Hegde also perused the draft of the College Prospectus in which his picture is included as a renowned educationist.


Though he had very little time, Dr. B.M. Hegde made it a point to visit the War Memorial built by Commodore Jerome Castelino in front of his house. He offered flowers at the War Memorial and lauded the efforts of Commodore Jerome Castelino and his wife Mrs. Rose Castelino in keeping alive the memory of those Martyrs who had laid down their lives for the country.



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