Last year ended on a high note and the new year began on a higher note for PNLIT! December was when our project was open for voting in Mahindra Spark the Rise Project Championship. Those were hectic days of campaigning and canvassing for votes. From among the submitted projects, Times Now channel chose PNLIT for their Amazing Indians series. We combined our monthly Nature Walk with the film shoot and invited some 75 school children to visit the lake. The kids’ excitement at seeing the birds was incomparable.
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Spark the Rise result announcement was postponed from 4th to 9th January, prolonging our tension. However, the thrill of Times Now telecast over the intervening weekend helped ease the stress a little. It was an honour for PNLIT to feature in the Amazing Indian series.
Spark the Rise results have been announced. Our "PNLIT – nurturing Puttenahalli Lake" was declared the most voted project! We are now eligible for a prize of Rs. 4 lakh and, more importantly, get to enter the final round where the stakes are very high. Three runners-up will get Rs. 20 lakh each and the grand prize winner will take home Rs. 40 lakh. This is a personal appeal to all readers to rally to our support with their votes and spread the word among your family, friends and colleagues.
Another honour was the opportunity to welcome two very special visitors to the lake – Mrs. and Mr. Zafar Futehally!
Laeeq and Zafar Futehally are veteran ornithologists, related to the "Birdman of India" Salim Ali. Laeeq and her uncle Salim Ali co-authored a book Common Birds in 1967 which has since been reprinted several times and have run into many editions. Zafar is a passionate naturalist who was closely associated with the Bombay Natural History Society. In 1960 he started the Newsletter for Birdwatchers as a forum for birders to share their observations. Zafar had several questions to ask us – what is the source of the water in the lake? What is the depth in summer? How are we raising money to maintain the lake and so on. Their passion for lake restoration and conversion to avian habitats was truly inspirational.
Please do visit our Puttenahalli Lake (near MLR Convention Hall, Brigade Millennium) and see the transformation for yourselves. Voting will be between 25th March and 13th April. More excitement lies ahead! Be a part of it!
Usha Rajagopalan is Chairperson, PNLIT