The morning of Sunday, 19th Jan 2014, saw more than 150 people assemble at Halanayakanahalli Lake, to raise awareness of the need for the revival of the lake.
The walkathon began at 7.30 am, with volunteers guiding groups of people around the lake, and at times into the lake bed. As they were taken through the imaginary boundary of the lake, many were surprised to learn that what seemed like one large piece of barren land was actually three lakes, Halanayakanahalli, Chikkanayakanahalli and Chikkanalli. A distance of 4 km was covered, around an area of approximately 80 acres. Children spotted the odd bird here and there. They wondered about what the height the water might have been, even as recently as 8 years ago.
By around 8.30 am, the entire area was teeming with an enthusiastic bunch of people, eager to know what could be done to revive the lake, to bring it back to its original glory and how they could participate in these efforts.
The crowd then assembled in front of the Gram Panchayat Office. The meeting started with the hoisting of the national flag and was presided by Panchayat Chariman Mr. Babu Reddy, Panchayat President Ms. Madhuramma and Panchayat Development Officer Mr. Ramesh.
Ms. Priya Ramasubban, one of the key members from the team responsible for the revival of the nearby Kaikondarahalli Lake, urban ecologist Ms. Harini Nagendra and Mr. Arbind Gupta from Save Bangalore Lakes Trust, addressed the gathering.They appreciated the efforts to come together as a community for a cause, suggested the next steps and pledged their continued support and guidance. The Panchayat Development Officer, Mr. Ramesh, highlighted the need to involve children and requested the people to come frequently to the lake. He promised all support from the villagers and the Panchayat in the revival.
The entire community then had breakfast together, discussing the next steps. At the end of the event, people were given a small note with the Facebook page, a simple tool to keep them connected to the cause www.facebook.com/Halanayakanahalli.Lake.
As the group dispersed, might their thoughts have been – “What a sight it would be, to see this lake full of water, with trees around and birds nesting and wading into the lake! Hope the people, especially the children who walked through the lake bed today, get to always walk around lakes and admire their beauty, instead of through any lake beds…”
Report by Krishna Ramamoorthy, member, Halanayakanahalli Lake Team
Pics by members of Halanayakanahalli Lake Team
Pics by Bala can be seen here