Our beloved lake is now fully functional and teeming with vibrant flora and fauna. The lake is brimming with water thanks to bountiful rains and water flowing in from Kasavanahalli lake clean up work. BBMP’s role in renovating and rejuvenating the lake is mostly complete except for a few jobs like building sewage diversion pipes, getting the toilets functional and finishing the security cabins.
From now on, the task of maintaining the lake and its environs is entirely the community’s responsibility which will be driven by MAPSAS Trust with help from volunteers. Some of you may be aware that since August 2011 (2 years) the security, gardening and general maintenance (regular cleanups, de-weeding, etc.) of the lake are being handled by MAPSAS with funding from United Way, a donor agency that plays intermediary for CSR initiatives. MAPSAS and all the users of the lake are very grateful to United Way for their tremendous support in the upkeep of the lake.
Now we need volunteers to step forward and continue the good work in several ways as identified below. All it takes is a couple of hours a week or even less in some instances for you to contribute to this cause. Please identify the area (listed in the order of priority below) that interests you and write to us.
Maintenance: David Lewis (Trustee – MAPSAS), whom many of you visiting the lake will surely recognise, spends a good part of his day overseeing all the maintenance at the lake. This includes making sure the plants are looked after, the security guards/gardeners show up for work, procuring and planting new saplings, ensuring that the lake periphery is kept clean, the toilets are always in usable condition, no illegal activities or constructions spring up inside or in the immediate vicinity of the lake etc. We need three or four dedicated people who can help Mr. Lewis in his tasks. This area of work requires those who are willing to visit the lake regularly and available at short notice for any help that Mr. Lewis may need from time to time.
Funding: The BBMP has funded and will continue to fund all the infrastructural work at the lake. But the BBMP has always maintained that the community should arrange for the funds to look after the daily maintenance of the lake (garden maintenance/staff salaries/de-weeding/etc.) United Way, as mentioned earlier, is currently funding this maintenance and they are committed to funding till next year. We need to start creating a corpus so that the community can pay for maintenance when United Way stops funding the maintenance work from next year. We need volunteers – a) to fund and b) to help raise funds. This team will be working under the supervision of Subramanian Sankaran (firstname.lastname@example.org). Donations to the lake activities through MAPSAS is eligible for deduction under IT section 80G.
Volunteer Coordinator: We’d like a person interested in managing a once-a-month volunteering drive where he/she creates a voulnteering opportunity at the lake (cleaning/planting/removing posters on the fences/managing crowds during festivals like Ganesh Habba, etc.). This month’s activity will be related to the Ganesh Puja. BBMP has provided a special tank inside the lake premises for immersion of idol during Ganesha. We have to ensure that immersion of idols are done only in this tank. While additional security guards will man the lake and the tank at this time, we will need community’s help in ensuring smooth conduct of the events. Please sign up for this now so we can have a meeting one week before the festival and explain what needs to be done by the volunteers.
Conservation events: We have permission from the BBMP to conduct ecology and conservation related events at the lake to bring about more awareness on these issues. We need three or four dedicated volunteers to help organise these events.
Flora and Fauna surveys: We want to conduct ongoing surveys, counting and listing the various species that thrive at the lake. The modules will be created by experts and explained to the volunteers who want to participate. People volunteering for this will work under the guidance of experts like Dr.Harini Nagendra, Dr. Subbu Subramanya and Gerry Martin.
Community outreach: With interest in the lake growing each day, we find people asking for more information about the lake. We have a Facebook page that effectively keeps the community well-informed on the lake activities. We need tech-savvy volunteers to visit the lake once a week and send FB updates on the lake and events at the lake (photos and narratives).
Our key priority now is to ensure the continued maintenance and security of the lake that will require adequate funding and ample support from you community members. We look forward to hearing from you with your ideas and volunteering support.