BANGALORE: They are in love with the lakes in Bangalore. And, now they are out on a mission to save one such lake in their vicinity. Banking on donations and contributions from like-minded individuals, these change agents are part of the Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake ImprovementTrust (PNLIT).
Tired of representations to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials with their plea to save the lake, the residents in J P Nagar formed the PNLIT with the sole mission of saving the lake from extinction. But when funds started to dry up - like the lake - they set out on a unique mission to address money matters. Mahindra’s Spark the Rise project championship, a platform for ordinary people to drive positive change in India, came as a blessing in disguise. A voter driven contest, PNLIT pocketed the highest number of votes in the semi-finals.
“Four winners will be chosen on combined basis of public voting and jury selection. The stakes are high and even the runner-up will take home ` 20 lakh, which would help us transform the lake. I hope we get maximum votes so as to fulfil our lake saving mission,” says Usha Rajagopalan, chairperson of PNLIT.
When City Express set out on a fact finding mission, Puttenahalli Lake too had a story that had striking similarity with other dying lakes of Bangalore. The BBMP had launched a massive campaign to rejuvenate the lake in 2010 in two phases. “The work kick-started in style, but we observed that many construction materials began to vanish. Soon, we donned the role of the lake custodians and would go on inspection of the work being carried out in the lake. But our authority was questioned often and this prompted us undertake the responsibility on to ourselves and PNLIT was born,” says Usha, a trustee-cum-writer. Formed in June 2010, the lake team has as founder trustees in Arathi Manay, a market researcher, Prasanna K. Vynatheya, a software architect and O P Ramaswamy, a chartered engineer. In May 2011, the BBMP formally handed over the charge to PNLIT by inking an MOU. “We have been given time till 2014 to nurture the lake and to take our dream forward. We want people to vote for us by logging on to www.sparktherise.com,” hopes Usha.