‘Mud laddus’ to help revive Karnataka's Devanahalli Lake ecosystem

The volunteers intend to execute this initiative as the city anticipates a promising rainy season this year, which would help facilitate self-germination.
Akin to dry fruits placed in the centre of laddus, these mud laddus contain neem seeds. When scattered around the lakes, these seeds disperse and germinate naturally.
Akin to dry fruits placed in the centre of laddus, these mud laddus contain neem seeds. When scattered around the lakes, these seeds disperse and germinate naturally.Express photo

BENGALURU: In a bid to revive the city’s lakes suffering from ecosystem imbalance, due to climate change, around 40 environment enthusiasts, including children and students, made nearly 200 ‘mud laddus’ to naturally disperse seeds in and around Devanahalli Lake, which is spread over 17 acres of land.

Previously, the water from the lake was used by locals to meet their irrigation needs, however, over the last few years, raw sewage has been entering the water body, garbage is being dumped into it, and there has been invasive growth of weeds.

Akin to dry fruits placed in the centre of laddus, these mud laddus contain neem seeds. When scattered around the lakes, these seeds disperse and germinate naturally. The volunteers intend to execute this initiative as the city anticipates a promising rainy season this year, which would help facilitate self-germination.

Srivatsan Ramkumar, a member of the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), explained that volunteers use three basic ingredients — red sand, water, and neem seeds — to create balls with neem seeds at the centre. These mud laddus or mud balls are then left to dry for two days, before being planted around lakes to revive the environment.

He explained that seeds such as neem or bamboo are easy to cultivate, and red sand is convenient to handle due to its good water drainage and desirable grain structure, containing less moisture as the particles are naturally saturated.

Planting these balls around the lakes enables natural dispersal and germination, and furthermore fosters biodiversity by creating habitats for birds and microorganisms.

Srivatsan emphasised that climate change and ecosystem imbalance are causing lakes to dry up, killing fish, which sometimes decompose without being consumed by birds due to the absence of a balanced ecosystem. Therefore, this initiative will not only restore balance in the ecosystem, but also contribute in maintaining what the city is renowned for — pleasant weather — in the long term. The volunteers emphasised that people should not hesitate to get their hands dirty for a change, and encouraged the public to create similar laddus and contribute to the environment.

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