Friday, February 23, 2018

What's in a name? Plenty unfortunately!

The Bard made Juliet ask Romeo, 
"What's in a name?" She went on to answer herself "That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet ..."

Little did Shakespeare know what problems a name can cause! Our little 13 acre lake is called Puttenahalli. So is the 31 acre one in Yelahanka! To compound matters, the one in Sarakki is also occasionally and mistakenly called Puttenahalli. Three lakes with the same name is two more than necessary. Truly confusion worse confounded. 

As if our struggle to nurture our little "Puttenahalli Puttakere" as it was earlier called, is not enough, we are constantly explaining this name jumble to people. We can do this with individuals but how do we address this issue when the mistake occurs in the newspaper? Those few reporters who are aware of this, are careful in specifying which one by writing "Puttenahalli Yelahanka" or "Puttenahalli, J.P. Nagar" (which will still clash with the Sarakki lake but this cannot be helped). If, however, they do not give precise direction to the photographer, then it is very likely that a photograph of our lake will accompany the report on Sarakki or Puttenahalli Yelahanka lakes! This is perhaps what happened in the report which has appeared in The Times of India today. 

Do we change the name of our lake? Will it help at all since it appears that our lake is so "well known" that any mention of Puttenahalli, it is ours that rises to the mind? Please give your suggestions on how to resolve this name muddle once and for all. We are fed up of explaining which lake is being referred to orally or in print. 

Since the report in today's newspaper is based on KSPCB data, we would like to add that we continue to feed our lake with the surplus treated water from the STP of an apartment complex. This was a pilot project approved by KSPCB in May 2015 which has led to our Puttenahalli thriving and teeming with fish. It doesn't stink either. These are enough indicators to reassure us that our lake is in good health. If you will believe only what you see, then please visit our lake - Puttenahalli, J.P. Nagar 7th Phase next to Samskruthi Brindavana and MLR Convention Hall. 

Usha

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Will Bangalore run out of water?

A recent article on the BBC website listed 11 cities worldwide, most likely to run out of drinking water, like what has already happened at Cape Town (South Africa). The article can be read here. Sao Paulo (Brazil) is at No. 1, and Bangalore is at number 2. 

Mr Vishwanath, one of Bangalore's water experts has written a rejoinder article that can be read here, explaining why Bangalore is unlikely to go dry as predicted. While it is comforting to read, we cannot afford to be complacent or indifferent. Water scarcity is real, frightening and imminent if we do not act, not just in Bangalore, but wherever we live.  

Harvest rainfall. Save water. Save lakes!



Friday, February 9, 2018

Science Carnival @ Puttenahalli Lake this Sunday


                                     


Merry Go Learn, JP Nagar is back at our lake with a bang!! 

This time they are planning a Science Carnival where kids can have hands on experience on various experiments. 

Come and see the magic of science at the stalls managed by the students of Merry Go Learn.


Venue: Puttenahalli Lake
Date: Sunday, 11th Feb 2018
Time : 3 P.M. onwards
                                     
ALL ARE WELCOME! ENTRY FREE!

Friday, February 2, 2018

World Wetlands Day


World Wetlands Day  is celebrated on 2nd February each year in order to raise public attention on the vital role wetlands play in reducing flooding, absorbing excess water, supporting life organisms, improving the water quality, etc. 

Unaware and indifferent to this, wetlands especially in urban areas are considered as waste land that can be built upon. The theme for this year is 'Wetlands for a sustainable urban future."

We look back at the wetland in our lake. Given that the water area is only 10 acres, the wetland is less than an acre. It is separated from the main body with a line of boulders about 7 ft high. Four rainwater  inlets and an STP line are located in the wetland. 

For several years we tried to avoid looking at the wetland simply because we didn't know how to maintain it. It was overgrown, littered with all sorts of stuff, some of which entered with rain water and the rest thrown in by an indifferent public. But closing one's eyes or ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away, does it? Towards the end of 2016, we decided to revamp the wetland. You can read about our project here.

The photographs show the evolution of the wetland in our Puttenahalli Lake from 2010. 

Creating the wetland, June 2010

The wetland in August 2015

The wetland in May 2016

The wetland in Jan 2018

No marks for guessing which is now our favourite spot at the lake!
Spare a thought to water, to wetlands!

Best

Usha


Friday, January 26, 2018

Republic Day Greetings

Warm greetings on the occasion of our Republic Day!

As custodians of the Puttenahalli Lake, we are grateful for getting an opportunity to do our bit for society and towards conservation. The result of our endeavour over the past few years to bring a dead lake back to life is seen partly in this video of fishermen at the lake, and the photographs.


Fishermen at Puttenahalli Lake


Pelican competing with the fishermen

Do visit the lake, where you can see for yourself. 

Best regards,
PNLIT team

Video and photos: Madhurima Das

Monday, January 22, 2018

Report on the two exciting events at the lake on 20th and 21st January

It was a hectic but delightful weekend at the Puttenahalli Lake. 

On Sat. 20th Jan Mr. S.K. Srinivas led a group of 12 participants through the intricacies of photography. It included a class in the Gazebo which we had darkened with curtains to facilitate better viewing of his PPT. 

Srinivas' photography class

Participants asked questions, cleared doubts, showed the pictures they had clicked, etc. Time flew and the scheduled two hours extended to three and more. Everyone welcomed his ideas of a day long photo walk and forming a group so that their learning could continue. 

Some of the photography class participants

Meanwhile, we received email requests from others unable to attend this workshop for another one to be arranged soon. Well, if there are enough participants, we will be happy to do so. Please email if you are interested. 

Thanks to photographers like Srinivas, Madhurima, Vishnupriya and others who visit our lake every so often with their cameras, even our gardeners have begun to take photos with their mobiles. One taken by Ramu in Nov. 2017 of chicks in a nest is below.  Exposure matters, not just in photography but also in moulding a person. 

Chicks (Pic: Ramu)

The Foto Fundas workshop was followed by the release of Discover Garden Climbers written by Mr. T.S.Srinivasa on Sunday 21st Jan. Our Guest of Honour was Mr. Vijay Thiruvady, a naturalist and authority on trees. He was full of praise for the book which he felt was the perfect guidebook for climbers. Mr. Srinivasa explained the technicalities of bringing out a pocket sized guide, the constraints of limited number of pages (168) and words (200) for each specimen, choosing the climbers (65) and so on. 

Mr. Thiruvady's knowledge is so deep and vast that we could only sit and listen with awe. The author, Mr. T.S. Srinivas added his reminiscences of a childhood spent in spotting birds, insects and, of course trees, shrubs and grasses. Mr. Karthikeyan whose photographs add visual beauty to the book spoke briefly about his volume called Discover Avenue Trees. What a magical world of flora they presented!

TS Srinivasa and Vijay Thiruvady

TS Srinivasa inspecting a specimen at the lake

The small but engrossed audience had questions in plenty for the experts. The Q & A went on for so long that we had to announce that we were wrapping up. It was becoming dark and we had another chore for Mr. Thiruvady and Mr. Srinivasa - inaugurate the naming of the trees in our lake by hanging a board on two trees. The trees chosen were a Badminton Ball (Parkia biglandulosa) and a Big-leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). 

Mr. Thiruvady directed attention to the fluffy flower head of the Badminton Ball. Mr. Srinivasa mentioned the nocturnal pollination by nectar feeding bats. As if to prove his point, a couple of bats swooped and hid themselves among the leaves. We added a little bit of personal history about the tree - it was planted in Sept. 2010 by PNLIT Trustee Arathi's grandmother on her 90th birthday.  

Mrs. Ramachandran from Rajalakshmi Apartments summed up our weekend events aptly: "These events bring like minded and lay people together and they bind people." 

It is indeed to bring the neighbourhood together and to spread awareness of this magic called Nature that we organize such events at the lake. Make the most of them. They happen at your neighbourhood lake. 

Best
Usha

Monday, January 15, 2018

Book launch at the lake, Sunday 21st Jan 2018

Close on the heels of Foto Fundas, the photography workshop to be conducted by Mr S.K. Srinivas on Saturday 20th January, here's another not-to-be missed event! 


On Sunday 21st January,  there will be a book release event at Puttenahalli Lake - Discover Garden Climbers written by Mr T.S. Srinivasa, with photographs by Mr  Karthikeyan S., both naturalists. 

The book is the second in a series of low cost, information-packed pocket guides brought out by EcoEdu, the first being Discover Avenue Trees.

Mr Vijay Thiruvady, who leads the Lal Bagh Green Heritage Walks, and is the author of Heritage Trees In and Around Bangalore (both he and the book are treasure troves of stories of trees in the city) will release the book. We are very privileged that we will have him with us. It will be a great opportunity to meet him. 


Date: Sunday 21st Jan. 2018
Time: 5 p.m. (please assemble by 4.45 p.m.)
Venue: Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase

Discover the joy of green spaces. Discover Garden Climbers. Copies will be on sale at the venue. 

Save the dates, folks! 
Sat. 20th Jan - photography workshop. 
Sun. 21st Jan - book release and discussion.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Foto Fundas - Photography Workshop on 20th Jan 2018

We begin the year with a new event - a photography workshop.
Mr. S.K.Srinivas will be conducting this workshop at the lake premises on 20th Jan 2018. He is known among PNLIT well wishes through his remarkable photos, often shared.


Check out his photo albums on Facebook here.

If you have ever wondered ... 

What camera to buy?
What is a DSLR Camera? 
What is the Exposure Triangle?
Can I ever do better than a point and click?
How to get the most out of your cell phone camera?
What is a good composition?
Lighting??
??

Question no more. Learn from Srinivas. Observe, imbibe, internalize the basics. Then go, shoot!

For participants aged 12 years and above. 
You will be required to bring your own camera.
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon 
Date: Saturday, 20th January 2018
Fees: Rs. 300/participant
Register with Divya divyadshetty@hotmail.com
Limited seats. Hurry!

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Year That Was - PNLIT Highlights of 2017

Our warm greetings to you and your family for the New Year. The PNLIT family will remember 2017 for a long, long time. Here's what made it memorable.

January

We install a cattle barrier near the garbage corner at the south west entrance to the lake. Also a welded mesh at the base of the inner grill to prevent dogs from entering the water and disturbing the birds.

February

Padma Bhushan Sudha Ragunathan visits the lake on the 25th. 

Sudha Ragunathan at Puttenahalli Lake, Feb 2017

At the fund raiser concert in the evening, she sings a special song on lakes which we will remember for all time to come! Heartfelt thanks to Gautham and Jenesys for facilitating and sponsoring the concert and to Brigade Hospitality. 

Sudha Ragunathan in concert, Feb 2017

The concert is a good opportunity to release our newsletter and to felicitate our well wishers and CSR partners. Mr. B.V. Satish, Chief Engineer, Lakes, BBMP receives the first copy of our newsletter "Ripples" from the singer. PNLIT partners felicitated are Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd., VMWare, Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt. Ltd., Cisco, BMS College of Engineering and the Community around the lake whose donations enable us to nurture the lake. 

March 

The Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute, Bengaluru (EMPRI) organises a Jatre from their office to Puttenahalli Lake to promote awareness about the hazards of using plastic. 

We begin revamping the wetland.

May

Our MoU with the BBMP is renewed for another term of three years.

Yellappa harvests fish in plenty. Species in the lake are Indian Catla, Rohu, Mrigal, Chinese Carp (Common, Silver and Grass) and Snakehead (Varal)

Silver Carp, May 2017

June

PNLIT partners with Earthwatch Institute India to promote scientific application by students and local residents in the conservation and restoration of environment and ecosystems. The events will be conducted at the lake premises.

Lake overflows into the waste weir for the second consecutive year.

July

Ms. Seema Garg, the new CEO of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority, visits the lake. She is already well aware of us and our work.

Story telling by Vikram Sridhar is a great success.

August

PNLIT trustees with gardener Jayanna visit Madivala Lake and teach KLCDA staff to make the floating wetland platforms. They are introduced in Agara Lake as well.

The 2nd edition of "Ripples" is released.

September 

Storytelling and Drum Jam session at lake by Snehadhara, Drum Circle, Pratham Books and PNLIT, to celebrate International Literacy Day. Over 70 children accompanied by adults attend.

Drummers at the lake, Sep 2017

BBMP offer to clean some of the weeds. Slum residents get the entire stretch along their hutments removed destroying bird habitat and nesting site.

November

PNLIT, Nrityadarpan (a classical dance institute) and IPAAC celebrate Karnataka Rajyotsava with a dance and music programme. Ms. Malavika Avinash, renowned Kannada actress lauds the rejuvenated lake and more so, the involvement of the community.

Nrityotsav, Nov 2017

The migratory Western Marsh Harrier spotted at the lake after years.

PNLIT is awarded the "Key to My Liveable City" by My Liveable City, an international journal, at Mumbai. 
My Liveable City award, Nov 2017

PNLIT participates in a public event called "Celebrating the Urban Commons" organised by the Azim Premji University.

Deccan Herald in a front page report mentions that "Puttenahalli Lake is in a bad shape." PNLIT immediately write to the Editor in protest. Our volunteers and well wishers overwhelm us with their vociferous support. Deccan Herald withdraws the write up and photograph from the online edition. We are deeply touched and grateful to all our friends.

Floating island chains in wetland, Nov 2017

December 

PNLIT participates in the VMWare Community Day held at their office premises.

Work begins on erecting a Pergola over a 100 meter stretch of the walking track along the wetland. Grants from Misys Financial Software Solutions and VMWare enabled this installation which is in finishing stage. The pergola design is CSR contribution from Mayapraxis architects.

PNLIT Calendar 2018 features butterflies and dragonflies photographed at the lake.


***

All in all, an exciting year which makes us look forward to 2018.  With your continued support, we will be able to nurture our lovely lake and make it even better.

With new year greetings,
The PNLIT team

Photo credits: PNLIT Shutterbugs