We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a great new year.
We wish ourselves the same too! For, truth be told, 2023 was a period of endless challenges for us at PNLIT. Puttenahalli Puttakere sailed through the year but we had to fight hard to protect it, help it thrive. Officers changed and we had to brief them on what we'd had done, build rapport with them. They changed once again and the cycle started once again. In short, 2023 was a test of endurance!
We did overcome a few challenges such as getting our FCRA certificate renewed two years and six months after submitting it for renewal. Arathi can rightly pat herself on her back for this achievement.
Usha continued the struggle to protect the lake from encroachment. Just when the light seemed to glimmer, the tunnel grew longer. The High Court had ordered eviction of the encroachers in July 2022. As soon as they got the notice, they obtained a stay order. On behalf of PNLIT, she filed an IA to implead in the writ and place the facts before the court. The Judge rejected the IA in Oct 2023 because, in his opinion, 'the Trust would not be a necessary party to the proceedings' as the petition was 'only for a mandamus for rehabilitation of the petitioners who are alleged encroachers by way of allotment of sites, so that they could vacate the encroachment.'
Who's going to allot the sites? When? Two questions for which the answers have been wrapped in layers of uncertainty from 2019.
The many crises through the year brought OP Ramaswamy out of his semi-retirement to avert what would have led to the termination of two of our gardeners. Without Ramu, Jayanna, Seena and Soma, we wouldn't have been able to maintain the lake. Ramu has been with us since 2013!
Nupur put an end to our vacillation on whether to revamp our website or go with a new one. With tech help from her husband Pranshu and text assistance from Usha, she launched a colourful https://www.
puttenahallilake.in/ rich in photos and comprehensive in contents in June 2023.
Our garden expert Sangita was luckier this year with the mealy bugs and borers and other pests lying low. The trees, shrubs and climbers are growing so lush and thick.
But for Divya's meticulous updating of our timeline, scrapbook of newspaper clippings, and quarterly reports, we would have forgotten half of what we had done in 2023! Time flies not only when one is having fun but also when crossing hurdles!
Our treasurer, Nandhini, is the one to thank for the receipts to your donations. Give her more work. Donations (and volunteer support) are how you can help our Puttenahalli Puttakere.
Our core volunteers deserve special mention - Vijayalakshmi Kutty, editor, Ripples and Sapana Rawat, events coordinator. They are irreplaceable. Jayashree Govind is a welcome addition to the editorial team!
Nurturing a public space like a lake is always going to be difficult. Our prayer for the new year is for less stress with old issues and more strength to tackle fresh ones. Together let's preserve and protect our little neighbourhood lake.
With best wishes to you and your family,
Usha Rajagopalan, Chairperson
Arathi Manay, Managing Trustee
Nandhini Sriraaman, Treasurer
Nupur Jain, Joint Managing Trustee
OP Ramaswamy, Trustee
Sangita Agrawal, Trustee
Divya Shetty, Trustee
Video credit: Satvik Sankar, age 13