Usually one sees entertaining flicks grabbing a lot of eyeballs. But here is an exclusive university initiative, a film on the revival of a Bangalore lake that has been making waves. The documentary film Kaikondarahalli Lake - The Uncommon Story of an Urban Commons’ is an initiative by Stockholm Resilience Centre, Swedish University who work on issues related to community commons.
Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom approached Harini Nagendra, an ecologist and a community member of the Kaikondrahalli Lake and evinced keen interest in doing a research project on the conservation of this lake which was basically a community initiative.
Priya Ramasubban, a Founding Trustee of Mahadevapura Parisara Samrakshane Mattu Abhivrudhi Samiti (MAPSAS) stepped in to be part of the project and helped the University in making this film. “There are two versions of it. The University is planning to screen a three-minute clipping during seminars and conferences, across community groups in India and other parts of the world, while the longer version of the film has been uploaded on the biodiversity page of the University website. “The shooting was done in five days and editing in one-and-a-half months. We would like to inspire ordinary people to take civic action for a positive change,” says Priya who is also a film maker.
Priya doesn’t feel that this exposure has come as a big achievement. “I think we put too much value on outsiders giving us validation. But we feel completely thrilled of being able to do something locally and more people volunteering to participate.”
Not limiting themselves to just Kaikondrahalli lake, the community has spread across, extending their support to other lakes of Bangalore. “We exchange a lot of emails wherein people from different parts of Bangalore have asked questions on restoration of lakes in their area. It is basically about helping each other out. Being in touch always helps us to beautify this city.”
It does not end here as there is more to be done, adds Priya. “It is not a one day job but an ongoing project. It needs constant attention in terms of maintenance and keeping the ecological driving space intact. We as a community should bring in a larger chain of lakes and local communities should protect their natural heritage,” she says.