Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Family Gardening Day at the Lake - 6th October

The overcast weather kept most of the interested volunteers away from the lake last Saturday, which was our monthly Family Gardening Day. But it did not deter Mrs. Vijayalakshmi, a young at heart senior citizen residing in the neighbourhood. She came on time and worked through the drizzle till 11 a.m.!

Here is what she has to say.
"I went home feeling refreshed and relaxed. Picking up dead leaves, digging the soil, trimming hedges and just gazing at the turning colours of the lake on a rainy day are great stress busters! I would recommend this for all the senior citizens here. It's a cure for all old age ailments."  



Thank you so much dear Vijayalakshmi. We wish to see you again and again! 

And to those who couldn't make it, do join us on 3rd November, the next Family Gardening Day at the Lake. 

Cheers,
-Sapana
PNLIT Event Coordinator

Friday, October 5, 2018

Puttenahalli Lake - then and now; Bengaluru Bird Day, 6th October

Quite often we tend to forget how our Puttenahalli Lake looked. I remembered while browsing through old photographs for a presentation. 

4th July 2010

5th October 2018

On behalf of PNLIT, I have been invited to give a talk on our conservation efforts tomorrow, 6th October, at the Bengaluru Bird Day 2018. See how the lake has transformed in eight years. 

My topic is "Batting for Birds at Puttenahalli Puttakere"   
Please visit https://birdday.in to see the detailed schedule.  
All are welcome.

Best regards
Usha

Monday, October 1, 2018

Lake updates

We are happy to tell you that we have signed an agreement with SMS Labs Services Private Ltd., to monitor the quality of the water in our lake. The New Indian Express carried a report on this in today's newspaper. Here's the link:  http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/oct/01/puttenahalli-lakes-resident-caretakers-to-monitor-water-quality-via-monthly-tests-1879308.html 

BMS College of Engineering had been kind enough to test the water samples in their lab from June 2016.  Of late, several organisations and individuals have been approaching us for permission to conduct their own tests. We encourage them to do so even though we are not sure of the facilities available in their laboratories. In order to have our own benchmark we decided to get a monthly  monitoring done by one which is certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).

Our heartfelt thanks to BMSCE. We look forward to more collaborative work with them in the future.

The photograph of the Oriental Darter with a fish in its beak in the New Indian Express article was taken by Prakash Ananthapur. He also spotted and photographed a Glossy Ibis at the lake on 27th September. This bird, though resident in India, is not a frequent visitor to our lake. It was first seen in February 2017. Here's hoping it will come around more often, with family and friends!

Usha

Glossy Ibis (Pic: Prakash Ananthapur) 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Cloud of Trash @ Puttenahalli Lake

For the last seven years Pratham Books has been conducting 'One Day, One Story', an annual storytelling campaign that celebrates International Literacy Day on 8th September every year. 
PNLIT has been part of this campaign for the last five years!

This year the selected book was A Cloud of Trash written by Karanjeet Kaur and illustrated by Bhavana Vipparthi. Theatre practitioner and filmmaker Surabhi Herur narrated and enacted this story much to the joy of 25 young children and their parents and grandparents who had assembled at the lake.

Here is what Ms. Vijayalakshmi Kutty, who attended the storytelling session, had to say:
Who doesn't like a good story? The young to the elderly love to hear a well-told tale. The story telling session had young children enraptured with a modern tale about an everyday problem - garbage. Recited with flair, vigour and vivacity, by theatre savvy, Surabhi Herur, the session had the children intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged at every stage, to explore an existential problem and together find solutions for it. A Cloud of Trash tells the story of a young girl with a burdensome cloud of garbage floating above her head at every moment. And that is the worrisome  story of our cities today which has to be told to our young ones. Surabhi brought the engaging session to a close with a collective,symbolic pledge to keep our environment clean.


Here are some moments captured beautifully by Vishnupriya Hathwar and Deepa Mohan.












Thank you,
-Sapana

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Workshops for parents - 23rd and 30th Sep

Workshops for parents facilitated by Vishnupriya Hathwar. All proceeds will go to Vishnupriya's organization The Humanity Express.

Details of the workshops

1) Parents of children 8-10, Sept 23, 2018
@ puttenahalli lake, Morning 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

2) Parents of children 11-14, Sept 30, 2018
@ puttenahalli lake, Morning 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Content of the workshops 
1. Introduction to integrated learning methods for parents
2. Learning and teaching begins at home
3. Learning and teaching within nature
4. Subject integration and details
5. Outdoor activities / trips

Workshop fees Rs 200/-

Do join us! For registration call Vishnupriya Hathwar @+91 9448451921



Thursday, September 6, 2018

A bird in distress rescued at the lake

Some mornings begin with a bang. Today was one - literally with calls on two mobiles and the landline at the same time. 

The news was bad. A  Great Cormorant was caught in a line or wire at the lake. It was dangling from its feet from the dead tree we'd planted as a perch. Where did this line/wire come from? This perch is the favourite of birds that are always landing and taking off. But this was no time to think of who did what and when. I called Seenappa, the gardener, who lived closest to the lake. He was on his way to his village. Between the other two gardeners, Jayanna lived closer but even that was too far away. I told him to come over anyway and requested the next caller to contact the slum residents on the lake bund and seek their help. 

Nupur began to receive the distress calls as well. She ran to the lake while I stayed back coordinating with Jayanna and reassuring callers that help is on the way. 

Cormorant in distress


Finally, about 45 minutes later, one of the slum guys, Raju, brought the bird to the land and with two others, cut the nylon thread and freed it. The Great Cormorant flew down the slope, into the water and swam away. 

Pics and video by Sapana, Ravi and Raghav. Youtube video compiled by Rakshith Jakati.


It turned out that some boys had been caught fishing last Sat. While escaping, they had flung the line on the tree. The feet of the bird got entangled in the wire but it was lucky enough to escape the sharp curved hook. 

Fishing line which trapped the cormorant (Pic Nupur Jain)

As terrible as this was, we were surprised and delighted at the number of calls we received. It showed the sensitivity of the callers, residents in the locality and regular walkers at the lake. Several of them waited till the bird was rescued. Our heartfelt thanks to all of them, to Raju and the two others who freed the bird. We do not want another bird ensnared but do hope the number of people who care for the lake increases! 

Usha


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Report - September Family Gardening Day at the Lake

The family gardening session was very productive this morning. Fourteen residents from the neighbourhood (7 children and 7 adults) deweeded the sidewalk area and sheared the hedges.

Ritvik (Christ college student) did a great job in pruning the hedges uniformly for more than an hour and wanted to keep going beyond 11 a.m.It felt wonderful to have a young adult like him contributing his Saturday morning to nature.

Everyone enjoyed the bright morning watching Greater Cormorants (4 of them!) take off and land on the water. Guest appearances were made by a tiny snail, a skink, small beetles,spiders and other insects much to the delight of the little ones.

Vishu (RVCE student) who has been volunteering with PNLIT since he was in 7th Standard delighted the little ones more with the close up shots of the Greater Cormorants taken on his DLSR camera.

In our next Family Gardening Day (Oct 6th) hope to see more of you.






Friday, August 31, 2018

Celebrate International Literacy Day with PNLIT at Puttenahalli Lake


'One Day, One Story' the annual storytelling campaign of Pratham Books that celebrates International Literacy Day is back! And like the past few years, PNLIT is a part of this program.

This year's chosen book is A Cloud of Trash (written by Karanjeet Kaur, and illustrated by Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi). It’s a story about a little girl called Cheekoo, who has a cloud of trash hanging over her head. This makes her very, very unhappy. Slowly she realizes what she needs to do to get rid of this trash!

Join in an interactive storytelling session by Surabhi Herur to follow Cheekoo's story.

Venue - Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake
Date & Time - September 8th (Saturday4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kindly assemble by 3:45 p.m.
Age group - 5 years and above
Entry is FREE

About the Artist
Surabhi Jyotirmayee Herur is a theatre practitioner, filmmaker, facilitator and acting coach. With over fifty projects in drama and film, including hundreds of theatrical shows and many critically acclaimed performances to her credit, her expertise in the field comes from a keen observation of human behaviour and the diversity of experience that a career spanning the gamut of various forms of art and literature brings.

Looking forward to seeing you at the lake.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Photography Walk

Report by Nandhini Sriraaman

It was a beautiful Sunday morning at the ever so beautiful Puttenahalli lake. Mr. Srinivas Krishnamachari, the mentor was at the venue before time to share his knowledge and experience with the enthusiastic bunch of budding photographers. Every year, 19th August is observed as World Photography day and what could be a more suitable day to conduct a Photography workshop? Srini, as he is fondly called, started off with a brief history of photography and why World photography day is observed on 19th August every year. Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce from France developed a process for getting an image printed on a medium in 1837. The French government bought their patent and gifted it to the world on 19th August 1839 and hence observed as World Photography day.

Srini explained the key technical parameters to get a perfect image, viz., ISO, shutter speed and aperture apart from lighting. He spoke about various types of lenses, cameras and necessary accessories. Slowly, the discussion shifted to the main topic of birds and bird photography. He explained the importance of observing and understanding the bird's behaviour and eating habits for photography.





The discussion in the gazebo led to going around the lake to see, observe and click the birds. The cloudy weather was perfect for getting good images of birds.  Srini patiently explained various aspects of several species of the birds that were sighted alongwith technical aspects of photography. 


The team was lucky to sight many birds including cormorant, pond heron, grey heron, great cormorant, purple hen and brahminey kite. Turtle, wasps, ants and several other insects were sighted too. Overall, the three hours seemed short but the attendees went back with a lot more knowledge of bird photography and with a promise from Srini on a full-fledged technical workshop on photography.


Pictures: SK Srinivas , Divya Shetty

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Report on the Drum Jam for Seniors at Puttenahalli Lake

The Drum jam organised by Silver Talkies at the lake on Saturday, 18th August was more than just a group of senior citizens learning the pleasure of a percussion instrument.  It was also about the spirit and vitality of the young at heart participants.

Mr Ashirwad who led the session, invited Mr Padmanabh Arkalgud to blow the bugle and set the ball rolling. He then gave a short introduction to the djembe, a goblet drum from West Africa. While it can produce a large variety of sounds, he stuck to a few easy ones that everyone as beginners could handle. Rather than each of the 21 seniors introducing themselves, he got them to say it through beats on the djembe. Everybody followed each "name" with gusto if not with accuracy. 


The next round had Mr. Ashirwad's son, Arnav, keeping time on the drums and individuals singing, reciting, even rapping. The octogenarian rapper Mr Arun Bhatia, in fact, stole the show with his snappy lines. With everyone getting lost in the drumming, it was but natural that some, men and women, should take to the floor and let their feet move with the beats. It was a spontaneous, yet graceful garba in the gazebo led by Mrs Harini Dubey, who learned garba in her 40s and won prizes as a dancer. Too soon, unfortunately, the music ended and it was time to wrap up. 


Hats off to Silver Talkies for a special programme. Thanks to this drum jam, we got to meet several distinguished individuals - from a former ambassador of India to China (among other countries); an avid blogger and author who'd just completed a two year project on his alma mater; a theatre person. It was a humbling experience to see them so unassuming, not letting their achievements or age come in their way. They and indeed, every participant, proved at this drum jam that “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)



- Usha Rajagopalan
Photos: S.K. Srinivas
More photos can be seen here