Friday, March 17, 2017

March against excess plastic

The EMPRI office at Doresanipalya Forest Campus was abuzz from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, 14th March 2017. EMPRI staff, researchers, citizen activists, representatives from BBMP, Hasiru Dala,  workers and rag pickers, all wearing black Tee shirts waited for the signal to start off a procession. The message was simple but vital -  Say no to Plastic. 

Roping in a few residents from the area, we from PNLIT were also a part of the procession shouting slogans and walking from EMPRI Office towards our Puttenahalli Lake. It drizzled. People on the road took shelter and listened to our slogans as we marched on. More people joined en route and by the time we reached the lake a good 45 minutes later, we were over 180! 

We took the volunteers to the two places in the lake premises with the maximum plastic waste - on either side of the slum. Everyone started removing the plastic bags, gutka satchets and other odds and ends which over time would have done irreparable damage to the ground below. 

While the rag pickers and BBMP staff were impressed with how clean the rest of the lake was, EMPRI Director, Mr. Vinaya Kumar and his colleagues were appreciative of how the lake looked - water rippling, the birds so engrossed in feeding and swimming. They were so full of appreciation of our floating wetlands that Mr. Vinaya Kumar wanted to meet our gardeners, who make the platforms. He listened keenly as Jayanna and Ramu explained to him in detail and complimented them. 

By 11 a.m. everyone gathered at and outside the Gazebo. Mr. Basavaraj, Head, Training, EMPRI thanked everybody for their participation.

Puttenahalli Lake was their first venue to promote awareness of the hazards of using plastic. We hope to reinforce this with greater vigour not just at the lake premises but in the locality as well. If you would like to join us in this campaign, please email . We need to eradicate this evil before it finishes us off! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Plastic waste management event at the lake by EMPRI

The Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute, Bengaluru is organising an event tomorrow, 14th March to promote awareness of the deep environment hazards caused by our use of plastic. 

The programme will begin at 8 a.m. at the EMPRI office at 'Hasiru Bhavana', Doresanipalya Forest Campus, Vinayakanagara Circle, J.P. Nagar 5th Phase ( Everyone assembled will go in a jatre to our Puttenahalli Lake where they will collect any plastic waste and then disperse by 11 a.m. 

We request you to join this much needed campaign and do your bit to save the environment. You could join at 8 a.m. at the EMPRI office or at the lake at 10 a.m. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sudha Ragunathan Concert - The Surprise

Padma Bhushan Sudha Ragunathan's concert on 25th February at MLR Convention Centre kept us enthralled from the first varnam. About a couple of hours into the concert, she gave a short speech appreciating our effort in restoring the lake and promising whatever help she could render to us and to the environment. This of course made the audience applaud but her next statement won us over completely. The day before the concert, she'd contacted a friend, Gayathri Gurumurthy who writes under the pen name of "Saraswathi" and got her to write a song celebrating lakes! Being a composer as well, Smt Ragunathan set it to music and sang it specially for us at this concert! What better reward can we possibly get?

We got the script from her and Usha Rajagopalan translated it for the benefit of all. Her words and the song resonate in our ears but we do wish we'd recorded this lake song! 

      An Ode to Lakes

Clad in cerulean silk and
Giving life to the universe,
Mother of water, of lakes.
We're here to guard you.

Equally for us all to flourish,
Crossing peaks and valleys
You have come, Mother,
To nourish the soil of this earth.

Stretching your golden hands
For birds and beasts to nestle,
To find shelter in your lap,
You're a haven for the world.

Defiling your body, we humans
Became inhuman and yet,
Our depravities you bore
Lending yourself up for our lineage  

To undo the abuse and wrongs
We friends now hold hands.
We pledge to preserve you,
Give new life to you, Mother.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

A community event - Sudha Ragunathan Concert

Much like the nurturing of our Puttenahalli Lake, the PNLIT concert featuring Padma Bhushan Sudha Ragunathan on 25th Feb. at MLR Convention Hall was a community event with several volunteers from the locality chipping in. Our heartfelt thanks to them, our donors, Jenesys Technologies, concert sponsor, and to Brigade Hospitality for the venue and accommodation for the artists.  

Here's how the day unfolded ...

The lake and its premises had never looked as clean as it was when Smt. Sudha Ragunathan paid a visit on the morning of 25th Feb. After the visit of renowned ornithologist Zafar Futehally in 2012, she's the most celebrated visitor to the lake to date and it was indeed one we will cherish. About 20 of us, trustees and our well wishers, gathered at the Gazebo to greet the VIP. We escorted her to the Viewing Deck briefing her about what we had done, how, why and when. She listened intently and found the Artificial Floating Islands particularly interesting. The recently planted Nerium Oleander were blooming in bright pink and the water glittered in the sun. Surprisingly the birds were missing though except for a cormorant at a distance.  Smt. Ragunathan was happy to know that volunteers had planted the trees and the shrubs and especially about the mosquito repelling quality of the Vitex Negundo. She readily posed with us for photographs at the lake before leaving.  

At the lake
A couple of residents from South City had cooked a sumptuous lunch for Sudha Ragunathan and party. With a few special invitees from Brigade Millennium joining them, all had a hearty meal over a lively discussion. 

We had begun getting MLR Convention Hall ready from the previous day with Janani from Brigade Millennium making an intricate filigree like kolam at the entrance. She made a more contemporary design of musical bars notes outside the Hall. Above that, hung PNLIT banners depicting the evolution of the lake from a dry ground to a thriving one. Standees of birds completed the exhibition which caught the attention of the audience. 

PNLIT exhibition

Occupying their seats, they got to see a slide show of sights and scenes from Puttenahalli Lake followed by a short film on the reviving of the lake. 

With Sudha Ragunathan, Gautham and Kalai Gautham of Jenesys, Gurmeet Singh from Brigade Hospitality and Usha Rajagopalan, Chairperson, PNLIT lighting the lamp, the evening had officially begun. 

Lighting the lamp
The concert was a good opportunity to release our newsletter and to felicitate our well wishers and CSR partners. Mr. B.V. Satish, former Chief Engineer, Lakes, BBMP received the first copy of our newsletter "Ripples"  from the singer. PNLIT partners felicitated were 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. 

Releasing the newsletter
The trustees welcomed the artists and cleared the stage for the concert to begin. Smt. Sudha Ragunathan gave a short speech appreciating the effort taken by PNLIT to nurture the lake and made an earnest appeal to the audience to support environment and efforts of people like us. This report on the concert is from South City resident and carnatic vocalist A K Venkat. 
The artists
Connoisseur or novice, Sudha Ragunathan wowed us all. Towards the end of the recital, she sprang such a surprise on us that we, trustees, wanted to stand up and applaud! What's the surprise? In the next post!