Thursday, December 8, 2011

Grabbing opportunities

Citizen Matters Puttenahalli Post

Grabbing opportunities: help us with your vote!

PNLIT , 08 Dec 2011

One doesn't always get an opportunity to do something extraordinary. When you do, you've got to grab it! This is what we did when we saw the Puttenahalli Lake dying. We campaigned and lobbied for the BBMP to rejuvenate the lake. This is what PNLIT did when we saw the Mahindra Spark the Rise announcement inviting projects ("Sparks") for a competitive funding. We submitted "PNLIT - Nurturing Puttenahalli Lake back to its pristine glory" as a template for reviving lakes with active public participation. Click here to vote.

The many activities and events we conduct, such as the Children's Day Nature Walk, are done to enthuse residents in the locality to take care of the lake, to make them feel proud of "their" lake. However, it is a slow, tedious process since our lifestyle is increasingly distancing us and our children from Nature. Environment is something that we take for granted, not something to be nurtured. Freebies like the monsoon and the twitter of birds are often cursed and not appreciated.

We meet the lake maintenance expenses from donations. We often get donors to plant trees. There is not only a monetary value attached to the Sampige or the Neem but also the priceless sentiment that the sapling has been planted by them and their families. They come around to see the tree growing tall and pluck the stray weed growing at its base. Such donations, however, are not really enough for us to transform the lake into the avian habitat that we want it to become.

Mahindra Spark the Rise seemed a very good way to improve the visibility of our efforts and an opportunity for much needed funding. The competition works like this:

- Each month, Sparks are invited in five different categories, and after screening, put up for public voting.
- Each month, 8 Sparks will receive grants of 4 lakh each. Five of these monthly winners will be selected by public vote. Of these, the 2 most-voted will be eligible to participate in the Grand Finale. The remaining three monthly winners will be selected by an expert jury.
- In the Grand Finale, 18 Sparks will compete. The winner will receive Rs. 40 lakh and three runners-up Rs. 20 lakh each.

Our Spark is open for voting through December (called Round 4). Emerging as the grand winner will be a dream come true. It will end our constant search for funds. It will erase the deep rooted concern that the birds which have now begun to flock, nest and roost in our lake may be left to fend for themselves for want of appropriate support.

The public now has a chance to make a difference in this community project. Every vote counts. Please vote for Puttenahalli Lake to enter the Grand Finale. And pass on the link to get others to vote too.

How to vote:
1. Go to
2. Click on popular entries
3. Look for PNLIT. Click on it. Click on 'Vote'.
4. It will ask you to Signup or Login.
5. Click Login to go through Facebook or click Signup to go through email.
6. To Signup, put your name, email and password that you want to signup with. A confirmation mail will go to your email account. You need to click on the link in the email to activate your registration.
7. After activation, you do the same thing to vote.

Don't think that your one vote won't make a difference, because it will!

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