On January 8th 2017, over 4500 people from across Bengaluru visited Kaikondrahalli Lake to connect with their friends, community and nature. Lake festival, or Kere Habba, is a completely volunteer-organised event aimed at raising awareness, increasing community participation and fostering an appreciation of lakes in Bengaluru. Kaikondrahalli celebrated its third lake festival on January 8th, 2017.
Over a hundred students from Renuka school situated on the banks of the lake, involved themselves in many activities; they organised a Halli Games session, to teach visitors how to play traditional games. They also took turns to ‘feed the soil’ – with the compost donated by neighbouring apartments that manage and process their own kitchen waste.
Citizen corner featured many citizen driven social initiatives such as Swachagraha, Volunteer Bus and Sustainable menstruation awareness. Among them Amitabh Saran’s stall demonstrating how to make useful items from waste cardboard was very popular. His cardboard ‘Tulsi madhams’ attracted a lot of interest from the visitors.
Children and adults alike were delighted at Performance Artist Vikram Sridhar’s stories, excitedly following him around the lake. Other participants also joined the Bird Walk, Spider Walk and Kite Flying. The children’s corner was abuzz with kids of all ages drawing, trying their hands at pottery and more. Hands on pottery session was very popular with children queuing up for their turn.
One could see many people enjoy the many activities and mini workshops from flower Rangoli to crafts to drawing, photography and more. Illustrator Archana Sreenivasan showed how to observe and sketch, and writer Deepa Mohan talked about nature writing.
The Civic Innovators interactive session discussed simple ways in which each of us can be a changemaker. Officials from BBMP and Bengaluru Traffic Police talked about their work in improving the neighbourhood and how they engaged with citizens. Volunteers and activists talked about how they tried to get involved and take small and big initiatives, from traffic issues, waste management and fighting violations. The organisers announced a unique contest “Start where you are”, that anybody can come up with innovative ideas to solve problems of the lake or the local community.
Biome Trust displayed floating islands fitted with plants in an attempt to experiment with sewage remediation at the lake. The event was zero waste of course, with Hasiru Dala’s waste management services. Whether commercial food stalls or juice stalls setup by volunteers, only reusable or compostable cutlery was used. There were no plastic cutleries!
The day came to an end with the mellifluous voices of folk singer Padma Shri Prahlad Singh Tipaniya who presented Songs by the water’, with Kabir bhajans and other songs related to nature.
Elected representatives including our MP PC Mohan and MLA NA Harris joined the event and planted saplings on the occasion.
The event has been organised by volunteers of the neighbourhood, under the aegis of MAPSAS Trust, and supported by sponsors from all around bangalore – Sankara Building Products, Rotary Lakeside, Motherhood Hospital, Portea, Vendantu, PLAY, Club Mahindra, Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd., White Peacock Badminton Academy, Prakat Solutions and community media partners Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz and Citizen Matters.
About Mahadevapura Environment Protection and Development Trust:
MAPSAS is a community-oriented Not For Profit Trust, formed by citizens to take up ecological lake maintenance activities after rejuvenation of lakes in Mahadevpura constituency of Bangalore city. The members of the Trust have been engaged with the BBMP since 2008 to rejuvenate Kaikondrahalli Lake and Lower Ambalipura Lake in an environmentally sustainable, socially responsible manner.
Kaikondarahalli lake is managed completely by citizens contributions. The Trust also is the community custodian of three more lakes — Soul Kere (where Genpact is funding Maintenance in partnership with United Way) as well as Kasavanahalli Lake and Haralur lake – both of which will be hugely helped if corporates partner with MAPSAS to help with maintenance.