Independence Day greetings to all! Our prayer today and always for our beloved nation is best expressed in this poem by Rabindranath Tagore:
Monday, August 15, 2022
At every opportunity, we thank our donors and well wishers. This is not lip service but comes from the heart. The amount each one gives is not important. What is, is their benevolence, their faith in us and our work as custodians of Puttenahalli Lake. If it hadn't been for these individuals, almost all of them live in the vicinity of the lake, we would not have been able to maintain our Puttakere.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
The vigilance of our gardeners is to be applauded. On 3rd Aug, at around 5.30 p.m., they telephoned to say that "black oil" was entering the lake. We replied that it may be from the two-wheeler mechanic shop across the road and asked them to get it stopped. We were wrong. Our gardeners followed the trail of the "black oil" along the rainwater drain, on the road, into an alley and reached a closed chamber outside a huge packaging outlet. Behind this was an agro marketing depot which was the source of this liquid.
|On its way to the lake through the drain|
|Bags and bins inside the godown|
|Fish struggling to breathe|
|Dead for no fault of theirs. Nile tilapia.|
|Big fish. Dead.|
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
About ten of us spent a couple of hours on Sunday morning (the 17th of July) at our Puttakere covering as much as ten metres. And yet, even as we appeared to move hardly at all, Time flew! There was just so much to keep us absorbed. The space was a compressed scroll, opening out into discoveries of sight and sound and scent - and eventually, even taste! Kaustubh Rau who led the Bioblitz began by having us look closely at the trunk of the mahogany on which fire ants (an invasive species, apparently) ran up and down sticking and stitching their leafy nests even as the lichen grew slowly, patiently. Those ants looked like ants but we also saw "spiders" which turned out to be ants, spiders who strung up their egg sacs (little green dots) in their nest-webs, spiders who left their "signatures" in their webs. What an intricate world theirs is!
It was a beautiful morning, shot through with that special silver-gold light of the monsoon (when it's not raining). A pair of dragonflies were locked in a long embrace, butterflies flitted about, coots and grebes chased each other in a flurry of wings across the water. At one point mynahs started calling out loudly. We turned to see what the cackling was about and watched as the mynahs escorted a long rat snake (most probably) across the path, heckling it all the while.
Thursday, June 30, 2022
To nurture the Puttakere we maintain a "To Do" list which is like Hydra's head. Each time we tick off one task, two appear in its place. Divya, Nupur and I met at the lake yesterday, 29th June, at 1:30 p.m. to discuss, among others, trimming trees, ground cover plants, events, share updates on new initiatives and so on. An hour later we walked past the island and saw an Oriental Darter sitting on a perch on the revetment.
|Darter in distress (Pic: Nithya)|
Though it is listed as a near threatened species by the IUCN, we had a few of them at the lake but had never seen one so close. At first glance, it seemed to have caught a fish. Instead of throwing it up into the air and swallowing it head first, this Darter shook its head and fluttered its wings. We looked closer. What it had caught was not a fish but a little mass of fine fishing net! Even as we watched, the poor bird tried to scrape it off on the wood.
Our gardeners have learnt to see if any bird was in trouble and have even rescued a couple of them caught in the abrasive string of a paper kite. However, given that this Darter could fly or dive away, we decided to seek expert help and telephoned the Avian and Reptile Rescue Centre (ARRC). The rescue team readily agreed to come but they had to cover a distance of about 22 km maneuvering the afternoon traffic to reach the lake. We got home guard Nithya to keep an eye on the bird so that it could be located among all the Cormorants and Darters.
At 4 o'clock the lake opened to the public. The increased footfall scared the bird and it flew to the island. That was where Ramu took the rescue team. Even as the coracle approached, however, the bird flew to another part of the island. Its next hiding place was below the low hanging branch of a Singapore Cherry. We didn't see it swim away but it popped up on a branch several metres away. By now a number of walkers, young and old, had gathered to watch this game of "dive and seek" which could turn deadly if the bird wasn't caught soon. With dusk falling, the two rescuers decided to look around just once more, this time from the pathway.
|Escape to the island (Pic: Nithya)|
The bird must have been exhausted by then and they managed to catch it. Wrapping a thick towel around it, they gently removed the treacherous net before releasing the Darter into the water.
|Darter being released (Pic: Nithya)|
|Released Darter (Pic: Nithya)|
|Rescuers watch the Darter swim away (Pic: Nithya)|
Our deepest gratitude to ARRC for their prompt help.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Two attendees write about the event
World Environment Day, 2022 started with an educational and inspirational morning for the citizens of JP Nagar. Organised by Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT), Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) and Indian Music Experience (IME), this turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience.
PNLIT celebrated their 12th year as a Trust on this occasion. Ms. Sapana Rawat hosted the event while Ms. Usha Rajagopalan, the chairperson of PNLIT showed us the video of the incredible 12 yr journey of the lake. She mentioned how PNLIT works with the various government departments and how it has come so far with strong support from the neighbourhood residents.
This remarkable presentation was followed by another showstopper - a vocal recital by National award winning singer Ms. Bindhumalini. Her melodious voice left everyone stunned, especially those, like me, who had shut their eyes in the dim room. I was transported into a peaceful world.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Sahana, who gifted the three special guests a sapling each. What a great start to Environment Day !!
- Nishka Jain, Student, 16 years
Usha Rajagopalan, the Chairperson of PNLIT took the audience through the journey of PNLIT since its inception till date including the ups and downs faced by the team. She shared how the issues have been handled and the lake brought back to life after 2 years of struggling with the sewage inflow. The audience consisted mainly of the donors, well-wishers of PNLIT and the neighborhood residents.
Usha's address was followed by a very thoughtful speech by Smt. Kaveri, Deputy Secretary, KSLSA. The importance of celebrating World Environment Day and this year's theme on One Earth with the tagline of 'living sustainably in harmony with nature' were beautifully articulated by her. She also pointed out our responsibility as citizens towards reducing and managing waste that we generate.
The event ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Sahana, Head of Curation, IME.
Overall, time well spent on a Sunday morning celebrating World Environment day and PNLIT's 12th anniversary.
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
We're happy to invite you for World Environment Day celebration on Sunday, 5th June, 2022. This event is being held jointly with the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA), and Indian Music Experience (India's first interactive music museum). The programme will begin at 11 a.m. at the IME auditorium in Brigade Millennium, JP Nagar 7th Phase, Bangalore 560078.
Friday, April 22, 2022
The first time we celebrated Earth Day was in 2010, to publicize the revival of our Puttakere among residents in the area. At that point, we had no idea that we were in for a long haul.
|Earth Day 2010 at South City Apartments, Bangalore (Pic: Ashok Das)|
In fact, even when we registered PNLIT in June that year, we did so to assist BBMP and ensure that the lake doesn't relapse. Signing an agreement with them in May 2011 and becoming official custodians of the lake meant no turning, or looking, back for us, trustees. Since then, the lake, and we, have come a long way.
|A serene morning at the lake, Apr 2022 (Pic: Nithya)|
|Folk concert at the lake on 24th Apr 2022 (Pic: Nupur Jain)|
|Removing litter from the water (Pic: Nupur Jain)|
|Juvenile Great Cormorant (Pic: Madhurima Das)|
|Spot-billed Duck family (Pic: Jayashree Govind)|
|Water lilies abuzz with bees (Pic: Jayashree Govind)|
|Nesting box in water (Pic: Nupur Jain)|
|Nesting box occupied by squirrel (Pic: Ramu)|
Thursday, April 21, 2022
IME and PNLIT invite you to a mesmerizing evening of music at Puttenahalli Lake, where reputed international folk singer Savithakka will treat us to a selection of stirring Kannada folk ditties in her signature earthy voice, against the backdrop of the lake’s calming waters and the setting sun.
Time: 4.30 p.m.
Born in Bengaluru Savithakka started learning at a tender age under the tutelage of her mother, a well-known singer smt. Neelambike. Savitha further honed her talents by training with senior mentors in the field of classical music, including Carnatic vocalist Ratna Shivashankar, and Hindustani vocalists Pandit. V. M. Nagaraj and Pandit. Dattatreya Joshi. She furthered her training in Sugama Sangeetha under the guidance of Sri M S Kamath and acclaimed music composer and sought-after mandolin master Sri N. S. Prasad.
Realizing the uniqueness in her voice, a base tonal quality that sets her apart from other singers, Savithakka began to carve a niche for herself by rendering folk music, Tatva pada, Bhakti Geete, Bhava Geete, in her own unique style.
Monday, April 18, 2022
A walk in nature makes us admire the creation and often arouses our curiosity. Let us understand and uncover the etymology of bird names in a scientific yet different way by walking in and around Puttenahalli Lake.
Fee: INR 150