Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Clay and fun at Eco-Art Workshop

At the Puttenahalli Lake on Sunday, 31st January 2016, twenty children aged between 7 and 12, got their hands dirty and their parents said not a word. Instead, they watched with pride as the kids unleashed their creative potential through the medium of clay. The occasion was an Eco-Art workshop conducted by Vicky Smith, a therapist from the UK to celebrate World Wetlands day on Feb. 2nd. Passionate about social and environmental justice, this nature lover is on a mission to promote awareness of the threat to the environment and climate change through such workshops for children. 

Vicky wove a beautiful story around the miracles of the lake, the Banyan tree and a boy named Bhuvan who loves the Puttenahalli lake in his green city of Bangalore. Bhuvan once wakes up with a deep fear that his beloved lake is drying up and the fish are dying but people with scary faces are laughing and cheering at the plight of lake.  Integrating the narrative with clay modelling, she distributed the clay among the children and helped them to make their own Ganesha idol, the saviour of the lake. This was followed by getting the kids to make a Scary face with clay. The excited children came up with a variety of interesting poses and designs. 

After this, they tumbled out of the Gazebo, divided themselves into two groups and made two  "lakes" and decorated them with miniature flora and fauna.  One group even made an island in the middle of their lake and put a palm tree on it, a neat copy of the original! 

At the end of the two hours, the children left for home carefully holding the precious Ganesha idol and scary face they had made themselves. What better way to celebrate a Sunday evening than by connecting with nature? By learning through fun to love lakes and take care of them?

Divya Shetty
PNLIT Associate

Friday, January 22, 2016

"Eco-Art" for children

PNLIT is happy to host "Eco-Art"  a unique story telling cum clay modelling activity for children between ages 7 and 12 on Sunday 31st January 2016 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Children to assemble by 4:15 p.m. 

The artist: 
Ms. Vicky Smith, a.k.a "Little Miss Compassion"  is a therapist from the UK. Passionate about social and environmental justice, she's on a mission to work with children around the world to help them connect better with nature. Her website is www.littlemisscompassion.com.

No. of participants: 20 only (twenty) on first come first served basis. 
Registration fee: Rs. 200 (inclusive of materials)

To register your child, please email puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Heartwarming gestures by our children

Over the past few years, we've done many things to raise funds for PNLIT, and we've realised that fund-raising is quite a challenge. To a social-cause fund-raiser who may knock on your door, the most disheartening experience is when you express regret and shut the door. Donations apart, we have often found it difficult to get people to part with Rs 220 for a PNLIT calendar, or even Rs 30, in exchange for a PNLIT wristband.  

However, there are many generous souls out there, generous both in terms of time and monetary support, who share our dreams, who believe that together we can make a change, and because of whom we have sustained. When these generous souls are children, it is truly heart-warming.

Recently, Sanjay Dev, a young boy of 9  years, donated Rs 1000 to PNLIT. Sanjay had put up a car racing game stall at his apartment's Christmas celebration on 24th Dec 2015. After paying the stall charges, his net profit was Rs 500. His father Reghunath had promised to make an equal contribution, which is how the figure reached Rs 1000. 

Sanjay, at his car racing game stall

Another young donor is Rohan Mishra, a Std 12 student, who like Sanjay lives in the Puttenahalli Lake area and believes that "charity begins at home". A few months ago Rohan said he would like to contribute by donating Rs 1000 from his pocket money every other month. And he does! Apart from monetary contribution, over the past year, Rohan has spared some of his time doing a few back-office things for PNLIT.    

Some months ago, another young enthusiast Vishnu Sreenivas, who was then in high school, took a group of children for a nature walk around Puttenahalli Lake, charging a small fee. And he donated the money he had collected to PNLIT. 

We've also had our children actively promote the PNLIT cloth bags, while dissuading the use of plastic carry bags. 

Thank you children, and thank you parents.

"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." - Anne Frank

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year Greetings

Together, we can make it so!
Wishing our PNLIT friends and well-wishers, a good year ahead.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Impact Day for Deloitte volunteers

The morning of 27th November saw the coming of enthusiastic Deloitte volunteers to Puttenahalli Lake as part of their yearly  'Impact Day event'.  Around 30 of them gathered at the gazebo to know more about the lake, how it was brought back to life and to find out how they could help.

Mr.S. Sundaresan from Deloitte kickstarted the proceedings by telling the others about our struggle to revive the lake and all the hard work that has gone behind it. As a resident of the neighbourhood (Mr. Sundaresan lives in South City), he had clearly kept himself abreast with the progress updates that are regularly sent out by PNLIT trustees. Mr Ramaswamy (Trustee, PNLIT) elaborated the challenges faced by the PNLIT team and about the long road ahead to complete the transformation. Mrs.Nupur Jain (Trustee, PNLIT) briefed the volunteers about the work that was planned for them to make an "impact" - repairing of broken benches in the gazebo, planting of saplings around the lake. The volunteers divided themselves into teams and set out to work with great excitement. Our neighbourhood volunteers Kalai and Divya, our manager Susheela and gardeners were actively around to coordinate their work. 

Some of the volunteers helped repair the benches which had been broken by miscreants a month ago, guided by the mason who had been called. The volunteers lifted the heavy stone slabs and placed them on the bases, brought bricks, mixed the cement and so on. They also cleaned up the gazebo area. 

Others were immersed in gardening work. From mixing the soil and manure to pushing the wheel barrow loaded with plants and tools, they enjoyed every bit. The hot sun above them did not dampen their spirits and they worked hard till it was lunchtime. It was a joy supervising them and listening to their talk. 

Deloitte had arranged for a quick but tasty lunch for all and then it was back to work. By 3:30 p.m. the volunteers completed all the work that had been planned for them. They were exhausted but deeply satisfied with what they had managed to accomplish that day. 

In appreciation of all their hard work, the volunteers each received a PNLIT wristband. Till their next visit to the lake, these bands that celebrate lakes and the group selfies/ photographs that they took would remind them of their Impact Day at Puttenahalli Lake. 

Sincere thanks to Deloitte volunteers for their contribution to Puttenahalli Lake.

- as reported by Nupur Jain with minor edits

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Order your PNLIT Calendar 2016!

Our Puttenahalli lake is a little world in itself, of the best kind because it includes birds, butterflies, trees, flowers and more. Showcasing these is our calendar for the new year, "Life at Puttenahalli Lake."  Take a sneak peek at the gorgeous photos taken by experienced photographers who are also from our neighbourhood.

Each of these photos shows the miracle that is Nature. We are printing a limited number of copies. If you would like to have a copy or two, or more, please place your order in advance. 

Calendar details
Format - Desk top 
Size - 5.7" x 8.5" (roughly A5)
No. of sheets - 8 (16 pages)
Paper - 300 gsm art paper
Binding - Spiral 
Cost - Rs. 220 only

Place your order with: Ms. Nupur Jain <nupur21@gmail.com> (nupur21 at gmail dot com); mob. +91 9886629769

Let Life at Puttenahalli Lake adorn your desk and remind you how precious, how beautiful life is. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Can you get us CSR fund to clean our lake?

Dear Friends, 

Even if you do not visit our Puttenahalli lake too often, our updates would tell you of the trials, tribulations and thrills we experience as citizen custodians. We are much more than a mere watchdog body. Slowly but surely we have been taking several steps to improve the quality of the lake and sensitizing the locality about its importance. 

The rain and regular inflow of excess treated water from the South City STP are increasing the level beautifully in our lake but growing profusely along with it is the alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides; honagone soppu). This is a weed that grows lush on land and in water. Just a bit is enough for it to multiply! We need to remove it before it covers and kills the lake. The amount we need for this is between Rs. 10 to 12 lakhs. To ensure that the weed doesn't recur we want to enter into an annual maintenance contract for at least three years with the lake cleaning team. This will cost about Rs. 3 lakhs a year. 

While BBMP is supportive and in fact, they cleaned the lake only in March this year, they do not have the funds. Even if they do, procedural delays will lead to the weed growing some more. We need corporates to pitch in through their CSR. Can you get us CSR fund to clean our lake? 

Indeed, do please share this request with as many of your friends and contacts as you can. Together let's tackle this menace. After working so hard to rejuvenate the lake we don't want to surrender it to an obnoxious invasive weed!

Many thanks
Chairperson, PNLIT
mob. 72597 22996

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What a shower!

The rain yesterday took all by surprise. Not us though since we are in the habit of looking at the sky for rain bearing clouds. Nevertheless, we hoped and prayed, that the dark clouds would not glide away but show their mercy on the lake. It did and how! 

It is good news and bad news really since the rain is washing away the soil on the slope but this is a far easier problem to solve than how to prevent vandalism!


Pics: Nupur Jain

Monday, November 2, 2015

Evil or Empty Minds?

Last Tuesday, on 27th October, when our gardeners came to work at 9 a.m., they saw four of the Cuddappa stone seats in the Gazebo smashed, 15 out of the 20 heavy Sadarahalli granite seat of benches along the walking track were upturned and one broken into two. See the pix. We are used to vandals breaking the glass windows of the cabin, ripping apart our signages, pulling down branches of trees, even uprooting them but this incident takes it to another level altogether. Who did this in the dark of the night? Evil minds or empty minds? 

We informed BBMP immediately who in turn filed a police complaint. BBMP provides security with Home Guards. On that fateful night, the guard was on leave and no replacement had been provided. As citizen custodians, we have been maintaining the lake to the best of our ability. The lake is for the benefit of the community and we have never stopped anyone from entering the premises, day or night. BBMP may be the owner of the lake but it belongs equally to all of us. We need to come together and protect it from such vicious, meaningless acts. 

To ensure that you who visit the lake are not inconvenienced, we have put back the granite slabs. The broken seats will be replaced as soon as we are able to raise the money. For your part, we urge you to be vigilant. Don't let anyone misuse the lake or damage government property. Remember, it is OUR lake. 

We look forward to your support to maintain and protect Puttenahalli Lake.

PNLIT team

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cisco volunteers at Puttenahalli Lake

On 8th October 2015, a group of 34 volunteers from Cisco livened up Puttenahalli Lake with their good humored banter, comments and most of all, with their swift and efficient planting of saplings to form a protective hedge along the side of the walking track. This was done to prevent stray dogs from going down the embankment and chasing the birds away. By planting the saplings the Cisco volunteers saved a great deal of labour for us and our gardeners. By sending us the report below, they saved us the trouble of writing one as well! Sincere thanks to Cisco's Jagadeesh Maiya and Sudarshan Ganapathi, who led the volunteers and special thanks to Girisha Shankar for the report. - Usha (Trustee, PNLIT)

Puttenahalli Lake plantation drive (A CSR initiative by CSG-CNX India team)
- Report by Girisha Shankar (with minor edits)

When was the last time that the CNX engineers dug out live bugs? And when was the last time that a white-breasted kingfisher got spotted within city?

It was a sunny afternoon threatened by the evening rains. Thirty four (34) engineers from Cisco (where long-time PNLIT-donor Jagadeesh Maiya works) decided to spend the afternoon planting saplings by the walking track on the Puttenahalli lake shore. We all assembled around 2.30. Ms. Usha Rajagopalan, a trustee from Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust gave us a brief overview of the lake and how it was restored. Her inspiring speech was all that we needed to get into the act. Teams were formed from the assembled group. Equipped with spears, pick-axe and shovels we set out. As one person dug the hole, the second one removed the plastic cover of the sapling, the third planted the sapling, the fourth watered the plant and off to the next one. A few volunteered to transport saplings and water for the small teams that were ahead. It was an example of multiprocessor, with pipelining!!! The recent rains helped by keeping the soil loose and easy to dig. 

As the enthusiasm soared, the sleeping earthworms and beetles rushed out of their safe haven to see what was happening – scaring some of the engineers in the process. But were relocated safely without getting harmed. Some of us were lucky to spot some birds – such as white-breasted kingfisher. With all the saplings that we planted, may be we have increased the possibility of sighting more birds in this park in future.

The weather was helpful – by not raining. As many as 450+ saplings were planted by the team in the session. But soon, most of us, not accustomed to this kind of work, were
all tired. Sudarshan brought home made Puliyogare and Mamtha brought Ginger tea from Cisco campus. They were devoured by one and all in that park. Rejuvenated by the delicious food, digging/planting/watering continued till we planted all 700 saplings.

Our team got a boost when Junior Sudarshan (Sumukha), Junior Jagadeesh(s) (Sriram and Arjun) joined to lend their hands. The evening ended with an enthralling speech from Jagadeesh. With a few blisters in hand, yet with great satisfaction, we dispersed.

This is the beginning of continued volunteering. For ease of communication an internal alias (volunteers-pnlit) is being created with all the 34 volunteers included. The alias is open for more volunteers to register.