Hyderabad: An innovative idea to turn a sleepy lake into a hub for water sports has generated major employment for rural neighbourhood of the Kotepally dam area, located about 20 km from the Vikarabad Hills.
The Kotepally dam with its kayaking has been attracting tourists from nearby districts ever since the government allowed water sports and skills development programmes in 2016.
Former Chevella MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, an adventure junkie and sports enthusiast, even before entering politics, started working towards this project. Through his Progressive Telangana Foundation (PTF), he donated 30 kayaks to create employment opportunities for local youth and to enliven his own sporting ambitions.
“I have had a great time during my childhood and growing years living in a village. We had all kinds of entertainment resources. The situation of villages today is depressing, mostly because the youth prefers to migrate to cities in search of jobs, thereby deducting the village population and its liveliness everytime,” VIshweshwar Reddy told Deccan Chronicle.
In an attempt to plug migration and exploit the rural tourism destinations, under the Justice Konda Madhava Reddy Foundation (JKMR), which is being run in memory of his late father and former Chief Justice of the High Court, the former MP created employment to 35 local youth, including five women, and indirect employment to about 100 people initially.
Today, as many as 60 men and women, who work for their family on weekdays, have been given jobs as lifeguards during the weekend at the Kotepally lake, earning at least Rs 13,000 for three days per month.
The dam attracts over 10,000 tourists on weekends and holidays. Visitors are forced to wait for two hours to get their turn to get a boat, said Vishweshwar Reddy.
To maintain hygiene on the dam premises, the JKMR Foundation has also placed mobile toilets.Vishweshwar Reddy in his conversation with this correspondent also said that he plans to further introduce more water sports activities at the lake, albeit awaiting government and local permissions, like the kite kayaking, paragliding, water cycling among others, he said....