Meet Karnataka’s Tunnel Man who was awarded the Padma Shri

The Padma awards for the year 2022 were announced on the occasion of Republic Day. From the state of Karnataka, we had 5 people who won the award. But one man among them has managed to get the attention of the public from around the country, particularly due to his nickname, ‘Tunnel Man’!

Amai Mahalinga Naik, who is also called Tunnel Man is skilled labor or a Farmer and is known for achieving wonders on farms. He was known for transforming barren land into an organic tree farm. In the Kepu Village, it took him four decades to transform this barren region into a lush area of production. He did this work with no means of water and irrigation facilities.


The land that he bought in place was an organic one with zero power used and no other such facilities in place. Shree Padre, an agriculture specialist who has been following Naik’s progress, remarked, ‘He developed a sustainable, lively resource from zero. For me, he is a one-man army on a hilltop. But for his sheer optimism and determination, the greenery there could not have been developed. When he was digging suranga [tunnel] after suranga which failed, people ridiculed him’.

To help these tunnels, he has built a modest reservoir. He plants areca, coconut, and cashew in this land for growth and usage. His work has been finally recognized and has been provided with the Padma Shri. Union Minister of Jal Shakti has also pointed out at his work categorically on his Twitter handle.