Martin Luther King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
Yesterday, Whitefield residents decided to break the silence by protesting against bad roads and infrastructure. A regular mundane Monday morning turned into a historical protest day, when over 8,000 people, mostly fed-up residents of the area, gathered in large crowds.
People got up early to attend the protest, leaving their daily chores, all united for a cause, a cause called #SaveWhitefield. People from different walks of life, across age-groups came together, and Bengaluru saw one of its biggest protests ever. One organised ‘by the people, for the people’; no political parties or other organisations were involved.
The idea for the protest came from Utkarsh Singh, a resident of Whitefield. Supported by the Whitefield Rising group, the idea gathered momentum and garnered a great response from residents of the area. Immaculate planning resulted in a protest that can possibly pave the way for improved infrastructure.
The protest was conducted in a distributed manner, across various locations around Whitefield – Marathahalli Bridge, Graphite India, Forum Value Mall, ITPL and KTPO – without causing any disruption to traffic and civic life. The idea was to ensure maximum participation from people without needing them to travel too far from their homes or workplaces. The protest was active from 10 am to 1 pm. Around 12 noon, people from the various areas, gathered at ITPL.
Many voiced their opinions, shouting slogans, displaying Save Whitfield posters and meaningful placards.
Ketan Jain: I am sick of this government’s lack of action.
Om Prakash Maurya: Starting from Marathahalli, the whole area is dug up by either telcos or BWSSB. All false promises by govt and BBMP regarding filling of potholes. BBMP is ready to increase the taxes by 30 to 100 %, but services are 0%. BBMP is good for nothing, they collect all the taxes from this area, and all goes to their pockets.
Maninder Chahal: I am staying in Whitefield and my kids go to school here only. We are all suffering from back and neck pain because of pothole-filled roads.
K Srinivas: I have reached my wits end with this apathy and indifference. The last straw was to see kids from various schools spend hours in buses, rather than on playgrounds. Time we woke up the government and civic bodies from their deep slumber.
Snapshots from the protest
The #SaveWhitefield protest is only the beginning of many more plans and actions that will be take by our awakened residents. In spite of being called Silicon valley if India, and being one of the highest revenue generators for Karnataka, it is a travesty to see our infrastructure in shambles.
We need roads, proper infrastructure and planning, not quick fixes. It’s high time our voice is heard!