Not long ago did India have many long meandering rivers, beautiful lakes and other natural water bodies. These water bodies served as a refreshing abode to many migratory birds, and assured safety against floods and draught. The banks of many such lakes and rivers hold precious childhood memories of many people – be it learning how to swim, or playing with friends.
Revive Lakes is a massive project by Bhumi to clean existing natural water bodies, especially lakes, that have vanished or are under the threat of vanishing. The project is currently ongoing in Vibhutipura Lake, Bengaluru. This lake, situated near HAL Airport, was once spread over an area of 43 acres and was home to various flowers, plants, fishing species, and migratory birds like Oriental Magpie Robin, Red-vented Bulbul and Purple Sunbird.
The project, planned for completion by mid-2018, is being phased over seven categories. Every weekend, volunteers of Bhumi assemble with one common goal – clean the lake and build a self-sustainable city. As a part of Phase-I of this project, the volunteers cleaned up the lake area in December 2016. About 6,000 kg of garbage was collected, with the support of 220 volunteers in just 23 days. Also, the team conducted several doorstep awareness campaigns in 150 homes around the lake.
The plight of the nearby lake came to my attention on a fine day when I passed by that lake. I have never seen a lake like this ever before. I decided to do something for our city and formed a team with other Bhumi volunteers in Bengaluru. We collected data & suggestions to clean the lake. It took ten months to understand the situation of the lake and the reason behind this condition. Finally, in November 2016 we came up with a well drafted plan to clean the whole lake. We started the first phase of our plan on 18th December 2016.
The second phase is now in progress; Bhumi volunteers are continuously campaigning to create awareness on keeping the lake area clean. Many tree-plantation drives are organized in areas around the lake. This phase is expected to be completed by Dec 2017. Further phases will be construction of outer-fence for lake preservation, followed by construction of Root-Zone Water Treatment (RZWT) for safe sewage treatment and preventing contamination of lake water.
Anusha, another Bhumi volunteer and a Pharmacist by profession, explains the situation, “… it was heartening to witness the change we produced. During the initial phase of the project, managing garbage was most demoralising, as we were cleaning it almost all weekends only to find fresh garbage dumped again. So we started door-to-door awareness campaign regarding this.” And their awareness campaign proved very effective with time.
“The irony is that we carried water from the nearby houses to water the saplings planted in a lake,” says Swathipriya, a civil engineer and Bhumi Volunteer.
Volunteers of Revive Lakes in Bengaluru never miss an opportunity to work towards the goal. They contribute their time during weekends without any second thoughts. Such efforts are sure means to a nation’s prosperity.
Anyone can join this volunteering team and lend a hand for any number of hours. Motivated volunteers can register here to be a part of Revive Lakes in Bengaluru.
[box title=”About the author:” border_width=”3″ border_color=”#e07a3f” border_style=”solid” bg_color=”#ffffff” align=”left” text_color=”#000000″]Chenthil Kumar, an Aeronautical Engineer and an active Bhumi Volunteer, heads the Revive Lakes project for Vibhutipura Lake.[/box]