Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bird Watch Update - Black-headed Ibis

The Black-headed Ibis is a common enough bird in India and can be seen in large numbers at Ranganathittu sanctuary. However, it was a first time visitor to the Puttenahalli Lake and was spotted today morning. 

As if escorting it around, was an Egret. The pair made a delightful sight, the Egret all white and the Ibis with its coal black head, neck and legs. For more info see the wikipedia link here

Mr Gopinath Subbarao, a neighbourhood resident, dropped in at the lake after hearing about the new visitor and he caught these beautiful sights of the birds in action. Visit the lake and see if you can spot the Black-headed Ibis yourself!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On the divine and the rain

If Dussehra 2013 was unique for PNLIT with a South City resident replicating Puttenahalli Lake in her Golu, this year it was a lady from Brigade Millennium who took us by surprise. Mrs. Anjana Shivakumar wanted to donate to PNLIT, the money she would otherwise have spent on gifts for her guests invited for Haldi kumkum! 

What better celebration can there be of Mother Nature than by taking care of a lake? Mrs. Shivakumar and her 40 friends chanted Lalitha Sahasarnama invoking the Mother Goddess. When it ended, she announced that she was giving Rs. 5000 to PNLIT towards nurturing the lake. We hope at least some of them (and many of you, readers) would follow her example and donate to the upkeep of the lake. 

To reciprocate her thoughtful, indeed unique, gesture, PNLIT has "gifted" her and her friends with a tree, a Sheesham , more popularly called Indian RosewoodWhat's special about this particular tree is that it was brought from Golden Temple, Amritsar when our fellow trustee Arathi Manay last visited the shrine. It therefore occupies the pride of place in the viewing deck. We are renaming this tree "Haldi kumkum tree" for a year and shall soon put up a board to this effect. 

Haldi kumkum tree (Sheesham)

PNLIT's Dussehra celebration was a small, simple affair confined to one day - Ayudha Puja. Not surprising since we have a whole array of garden equipment and tools!

Ayudha Puja

Every drop of rain that falls sends our hope soaring. How much of it will enter the lake is the first question that comes to our minds. The rain last evening was no different. Today morning we went to the lake to check the level against our own personal markers (a stone sticking out of the water, distance between a dead tree and the edge of water, etc.) At first glance it did indeed seem that the level had gone up considerably from the last such downpour on Sept. 25th. Two of the dead trees we'd planted in the lake bed were now standing in water! The water had not yet circled the base of the island but yes, the two ends had come a little closer. Compared to this time last year, however, the level is far too low! 

After the rain, Oct 6, 2014

After the rain, Oct 8, 2013 (a year ago)

The birds were not many too - only a pair of Spot Billed Ducks, a few Common Coots and the Swamp Hens. Just when we were sighing over the low water level and the few birds, there was a flash of bright green over our heads! Ah ha! A Barbet? Just that sight was enough to elevate our morale. We certainly hope that the divine will shower more rain and send more birds flocking to our lake in the coming months!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Story telling event - this day, last week

A week has sped by but the story telling event we had on Sept. 6th in collaboration with The Storywallahs is so vivid in our minds as if it took place, well, today.

The day was murky from morning and when it began to rain at around 2 p.m., we were relieved. If it rains now surely it won't during the story telling. We reached the lake well in advance, set out the registration counter and ... it rained. We took the table to the gazebo, wiped it dry and cleaned the seats just as sky cleared and the first of the early birds began to come in from 4 p.m. 

The programme began promptly AND with a full house. Kids, kids, kids everywhere but where were the story tellers? The children lined up and we set out to locate Nupur Aggarwal and Parvathi Om. The search was quick and the children "pulled" them out of the lake. Like Pied Pipers, Nupur and Parvathi led the kids to the Gazebo singing and coaxing the reluctant ones to sing along. 

The children sat on the floor of the Gazebo, parents on the benches, others stood outside but all eyes were on the dynamic duo, Nupur and Parvathi. Then began the best part of such events - seeing the story tellers and listeners get swept into the narrative. The artists were in full form. The kids didn't look here or there.

Suddenly a child burst into loud tears. He was so caught up with the action that he had bit his thumb a too hard! We swooped him away to our "office" to administer first aid. 

It was a small cut by the base of the nail but it was enough for a drop of blood and bigger drops of tears! We pacified him but his cries grew louder. He managed to blurt out why - he wanted to find out what happened to the Generous Crow!

The next story was a Punjabi folktale, Kaka and Munni. Kaka was also a crow but such a wicked fellow! He was out to steal Munni, the sparrow's eggs. Tension mounted in the kids and it seemed as if they held their breath even as their eyes grew wider.

The story telling event was turning out to be exactly how we wanted - transporting the children into a world of imagination. It was time for the next segment - paper craft. All was well ... or so we thought forgetting the biggest child of all - Rain God! He decided that it was time to make an appearance and how! 

We tied a tarpaulin between two pillars. The story tellers didn't stop, the children moved closer to them. Parents sitting on the benches got up and stood behind the kids, shielding them. Adults standing outside opened their umbrellas and blocked the rain further. It was magical, truly heart warming sight. No wonder it feels as if it happened just moments ago!

One of the parents, Mithun Prabhu took "126 photos, which i finally cut down to 81 as couldn't cut it down further seeing innocent cute little ones photos and some of their enthusiastic parents."  

You can see more photos here and here.

If you want any of these photographs please email Mithun <> / Nupur Aggarwal <>. 

Thanks to The Storywallahs who make learning so much fun through storytelling. 
You are welcome to send yours or your child's comments to Nupur and to us 


Friday, September 5, 2014

Free Home Appliances Repair Skill Development Training Program for Youth

A good opportunity for those who have finished Std 12 and interested in vocational training.

Labournet is starting a new skill development course next week.

Name of the course :  Home Appliances Repair Training 
Qualification:   12th  Pass  onwards , ITI passed or failed  and  any Graduate
Age: 18 Yrs- 30 Yrs

Course Fee: free
Course duration: 50 days = 200 hours 
Total intake: 60 students (male/female)
Certification: Bajaj Electric and NSDC

Course will take place in the Gottigere Center, Banerghatta
Two batches possible (morning and afternoon batch).

For more information, please contact Mr Rajakumar, Manager
25/1-4, 19th  A main , 9th Cross
2nd Phase , JP Nagar
Bangalore -78
Mobile : 7204072558

About Labournet

We would like to introduce LabourNet as a social enterprise that creates sustainable benefits for workers in the informal sector by taking an end to end solution that is focused on plugging gaps in the eco-system. These workers constitute 93% of India's workforce. Our aim is to reach  a million workers by 2017. We work with the industry to define occupational standards for job role and define industry relevant training program.
We also assist the companies in filling their ranks with personnel with the industry relevant skills. We have four methodologies to enable this:
Establish and run Livelihood Centers across India to empower people in rural areas / Tier 2 & 3 cities with vocational skills at the grass root level. Along with access to world class training and skilling solutions, unorganized sector workers get identity and financial inclusion by registering with these centers. The workers employed by LabourNet are also assured of insurance and social welfare and this improves their quality of life significantly.
Consulting and Managed Services for the informal sector
Employment and work enablement by ensuring linkages with the job market for all our stakeholders
Enterprise skill enhancement by providing onsite training (domain specific skills, soft skills and behavioural management) to existing informal sector workers.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bird watch update - Black-crowned Night Heron

The worry about not raising enough funds to meet our annual maintenance expenses of the lake was wiped out temporarily at least today evening with the sighting of a new-for-me bird - the Black-crowned Night Heron. 

How obligingly he sat on a pipe in the water, hunched shoulders, sharp, long beak and red eyes, turning this way and that as if posing for my camera! You can read more about the bird and hear recordings of its call here

If you are bringing your child for the story telling on Saturday evening, be on the look out for this Night Heron.