Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nature walk at Puttenahalli Lake

On 4th February 2017, an evening nature walk was held at Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase, coordinated by PNLIT volunteer Sapana Rawat. Sapana had the following to report about the event. 

"The actual flower of the Bougainvillea plant is the small white one and not the colorful pink, red, orange color leaves that surround it. The colorful leaves will slowly turn into green once they mature," said avid naturalist Deepa Mohan much to the delight and surprise of a group of adults and children.   

This mixed group of more than 20 adults, children and 2 infants in strollers(!) had assembled at 4 p.m. for a nature walk with Deepa, who along with her other naturalist friends, Chandu, Jagdeesh, Padma, Ramaswamy, Sriram, Vidhya and young Keerthana, asked and answered all their curious questions. 

What is the Gecko doing in the termite hill? --- Looking for food and avoiding becoming someone else's food! 

Gecko in a termite hill

How does a weaver ant build its nest? --- The larvae of the ants chew the leaves along with their saliva! 

Who does a Brahminy Kite resemble? --- The Bald Eagle, the national bird of the US. 

Who lives under a Parijata Tree? --- Hanuman. 

How did Pride of India tree get its name? ---You will have to google this one now else attend the next Nature walk !

The group ambled around for more than an hour around the beautiful Puttenahalli lake observing, touching, learning and sharing what they saw on that bright Saturday afternoon. They got 25 species of birds, which was documented by Vidhya on the eBird website here.

More pics of the event by Deepa, can be seen on Facebook here

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sampurna - Reflections on Sudha Ragunathan's musical journey

Have you booked your ticket to the Sudha Ragunathan concert on Feb. 25th? If you haven't, hurry! The sale of tickets is very brisk indeed. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to listen to one of our most acclaimed Carnatic vocalists at MLR Convention Centre right next to the cause she's supporting - Puttenahalli Lake.

Sudha Ragunathan has very kindly offered PNLIT a few copies of her gorgeous coffee table book Sampurna Sruthi, Laya & My Life. This is a pictorial reflection on her musical journey, published by Audio Media Inc. and includes a CD on her thoughts and evolution as a singer. 

The cost of the book is Rs.1999. We have decided to share the proceeds equally with the Samudhaaya Foundation, set up by this philanthropic artist. 

We will get only as many copies as are reserved in advance. If you'd like to get one of these limited edition books, please email puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com. You will own an autographed book to cherish and at the same time you will be helping both PNLIT and Samudhaaya Foundation. A blessing thrice over!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sudha Ragunathan sings for Puttenahalli Lake

PNLIT Fundraiser concert 'Padma Bhushan Sudha Ragunathan sings for Puttenahalli Lake' is here!
This Sangita Kalanidhi, one of India's leading Carnatic vocalists will be performing LIVE, exclusively for Puttenahalli Lake.

PLACE: MLR Convention Centre, Brigade Millennium, J.P.Nagar 7th Phase, Bangalore 560078
DATE: Saturday 25th February 2017
TIME: 6.30 p.m.onwards 

TICKETS: Rs.1500, Rs.1000 and Rs.750 (balcony)
Children below 5 years - not allowed
Children 5-9 years - no ticket required, but no seat
Children 10 and above - ticket required

Payment can be made by cash or online transfer.
For details on how to transfer, please see here.
If you are making an online payment, please send a screen shot of the transaction,your contact details along with your ticket requirements to: divyadshetty@hotmail.com / Whatsapp or sms Nupur 9886629769 to block your seats.

Reserve your seats now!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Rosy Start to your morning

Rosy Starlings at the lake. Photo taken yesterday evening by Srinivas SK. The last time they were at the lake in such large numbers was in 2013. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First migratory birds of the season at our lake

See PNLIT volunteer and birder Madhurima's report on the first migratory birds at our lake.  In addition to the usual residents, she also spotted an Oriental Magpie Robin pair.

Oriental Magpie Robin couple

Feels so good to see the number of species increasing. Hopefully, both migrants and residents, will come in larger numbers and make the lake their home. 

Here are some birds that we have at our lake, which come from across the borders.

Gray Wagtail: The species is widely distributed, with several populations breeding in Europe and Asia and migrating to tropical regions in Asia and Africa. (wiki)

Grey Wagtail
Common Sandpiper: It breeds across most of temperate and subtropical Europe and Asia, and migrates to Africa, southern Asia and Australia in winter. (wiki)

Green Sandpiper: It breeds across subarctic Europe and Asia and is a migratory bird, wintering in southern Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and tropical Africa. (wiki)

Wood Sandpiper: It breeds in subarctic wetlands from the Scottish Highlands across Europe and Asia. They migrate to Africa, Southern Asia, particularly India, and Australia. (wiki) 

3 Wood Sandpipers (left), 1 Green Sandpiper (right)
Brown Shrike: Several populations of this widespread species form distinctive subspecies which breed in temperate Asia and migrate to their winter quarters in tropical Asia.(wiki)

Brown Shrike
Blyth's Reed Warbler:  It breeds in temperate Asia and easternmost Europe. It is migratory, wintering in India and Sri Lanka. (wiki)

Blyth's Reed Warbler

Saturday, December 31, 2016

As the year comes to a close

Greetings to you and your loved ones in this new year from all of us at PNLIT. The year 2016 comes to an end but several highlights made each month this year a memorable one. To recap them briefly:  

Jan. Eco Art for children conducted by Vicky Smith, U.K.

Feb. Qigong for senior citizens with Silver Talkies
Mime and theatre workshop for children with ASMI Instt. of Art, Culture and Theatre. 
Visitors from Indore Municipal Council, TARU and a lake group. 

March - Spot-billed Pelican spotted at the lake for the first time. The species is listed "Near threatened" 

April - A team of fishermen remove the thick overgrowth of aquatic weed exposing the expanse of water to the amazement of all. Lake Cleaning Project made possible with fund support from Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt. Ltd. 

May - The first showers increase the water level.
Storm water drain on south west boundary of the lake covered with concrete slabs thanks to Bosch CSR. 

June - Prototype of Artificial Floating Island to purify the water introduced; 
MoU signed with BMS College of Engineering to conduct a monthly test of the water quality.
Irrigation system pumping water from lake is installed with fund support from VMWare 

July - The lake overflows for the first time. Even passersby stop to see this wonder of a dry lake now brimming and spilling into the waste weir. 

Aug. - Radio City felicitate PNLIT at the lake with a plaque instituted by popular Kannada actor Ramesh Arvind. 

Sept. - International Literacy Day celebrated with the highest number of young participants. Conducted together with Snehadhara Foundation
PNLIT awarded a Certificate of Merit for "Contribution to Social Cause & Empowerment" by the National CSR and Leadership Awards.

Oct. Origami workshop for children conducted by Ravi Acharya.
Black drongo and Cotton Pygmy Goose spotted at the lake. 
PNLIT Trustee O P Ramaswamy steps down from the post of Treasurer. Long time volunteer Sangita Agrawal, from South City takes over from him. Divya Shetty from Brigade Palm Springs is inducted as Trustee bringing our strength to six members. 

Nov. Children's Story telling by Lavanya Prasad, founder of TALEscope. 

Dec. Our Artificial Floating Islands are a great success. 
Extensive press coverage in The HinduMagicbricks NowNews MinuteNews9 (1)News9 (2)
Several lake groups visit to see the AFI. 
PNLIT helps Biome make an AFI model for a forthcoming Kere Habba at K K Halli. 
Bird watching at Lake led by Madhurima Das
Successful trial of Trash Boom and Weed Cutter procured from Agastya Buoyant Pvt. Ltd. Howrah, West Bengal. Both are used for demonstration at various other lakes in the city. 

You can see pictures and read detailed accounts in http://plog.puttenahallilake.in/.

With but a few hours left for the midnight to usher in a new year, it is time to wrap up this one. The lake is full of surprises and nurturing it, an opportunity of a lifetime. We would not have been able to accomplish anything without help from very many quarters. Our heartfelt thanks to each one. We look forward to your continued support in the new year as well. 

A special announcement for music lovers - PNLIT is proud to announce a Carnatic vocal recital by Padma Bhushan Smt. Sudha Ragunathan at MLR Convention Hall on Sat. 25th February 2017. Save the date and watch this space for more details. 

Best regards
PNLIT team

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bird watching session to be held on 11th December 2016

See the birds at Puttenahalli Lake

To spot birds at the lake now's the season 
Residents ho ya migratory, there's no division.
Let Madhurima show you the feathered ones
Flying, feeding and having their own fun. 

Bird watching on Dec 11th (Sunday) from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Led by Madhurima Das at our own Puttenahalli Lake.

This is a free event for adults BUT seats limited to 15 only. 
Please register with Sapana <sapana_rawat@yahoo.com> asap to avoid disappointment. 

We'll organize one exclusively for children very soon! So ... Chin up, Kids!! 

About Madhurima

A birder for the last four years, her training began when she was in Michigan, USA. She has been tracking the birds at the Puttenahalli Lake from September 2014.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Artificial Floating Islands in our lake

Those of you who visited Puttenahalli Lake within the past few months may have noticed small platforms floating in the water. These are Artificial Floating Islands (AFIs) which we "launched", starting in June this year. The Vetiver and Canna planted in them are growing beautifully. PNLIT trustee Nupur, her husband Pranshu Jain together with our gardener, Jayanna, are the builders of five AFIs. With volunteers from Deloitte making two last Friday we now have seven AFIs

AFIs, Sep 2016

A Coot's nest in one of the AFIs

Deloitte volunteers with the AFIs they made, 25-Nov-2016

Briefly about the AFI - this is a variant of the wetland, an innovative way to improve water quality and keep the lake clean. In this system of Hydroponic Phytoremediation, plants in floating platforms absorb pollutants in the water to grow. AFIs are widely used abroad but not yet popular in India. 

Simultaneously with the AFIs, we began monthly testing of the water. We are delighted to see steady improvement in the each of the eight parameters we measure - pH, Turbidity, DO, BOD, Total Solids, Total Dissolved Solids, Nitrates and Phosphates. Some parameters still need improvement, but the trends are very encouraging. It may be too early to attribute this improvement to just the AFIs since they are few in number. We have been also curtailing the growth of aquatic weeds thereby exposing more water to the sun.  

Our sincere thanks to BMS College of Engineering for testing the water samples every month, their invaluable contribution to PNLIT. To Srinivas SK for analysing the test results.  CSR support from Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt Ltd. enabled us to remove the thick spread of invasive weed from the water, to hire people to keep the water clear of new sprouts as well as to fund the AFIs. 


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Need your help for our lake

​As you may be aware, PNLIT has been nurturing​ ​Puttenahalli Lake in J P Nagar 7th Phase for several years. BBMP gives limited infrastructural support, but not funds to maintain the lake and its premises. Once a year we launch a donation drive among residents in the locality, invariably raising just about enough to meet our requirement. This is becoming increasingly difficult and worrying. 

Puttenahalli Lake, Nov 2016 (Pic: Arathi Manay)

We have therefore decided to build our Corpus Fund by holding an annual fund raiser concert. We have scheduled one concert for 25th February 2017, with leading Carnatic vocalist and Padma Bhushan awardee Mrs. Sudha Ragunathan.
From this concert we would like to raise about Rs. 20 lakhs. 

How you can help 
  • Find out if your company can pitch in - under CSR perhaps. Put in a good word on our behalf. Introduce us to the person concerned. 
  • Maybe you have your own enterprise and can afford to spare a bit for the lake? 'Giving is the master key to success, in all applications of human life.' - Bryant McGill  
  • If you are/have been a PNLIT volunteer, or live in the area, why then the lake is yours! Talk to your family and friends about the revival of Puttenahalli Lake and of your role. Bring them to the lake. Show off its many charms. Win them over. 
  • If all that you know about the lake is from our updates, you still know quite a bit about this People's Lake. Make a donation, get others to donate. Little drops of water make the ocean, right?
  • Spread the word about the forthcoming concert among music lovers. Don't forget to mention that Sudha Ragunathan is singing for a cause - Puttenahalli Lake. 
For more information about our work over these years, visit our websiteThe revival of Puttenahalli Lake is cited by many as a successful model of a citizen-led initiative in Bengaluru. What propels us, our vision and mission are presented in an IIHS study titled "Rediscovering the Commons", in a youtube video
Feel free to share the PNLIT brochure. It has been designed by two of our interns, Samhita and Divya, students of Class 11. 

​Many thanks. 
Chairperson, PNLIT

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rediscovering the Commons - Puttenahalli Lake

PNLIT's effort in rejuvenating and nurturing Puttenahalli Lake is included in a study titled "Rediscovering the Commons" conducted by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru. The interview (conducted early last year) is uploaded on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alwkAiRNpLQ. Heartfelt thanks to all our supporters and donors.