By Reena Pillai
A plant census organized by United Way Bengaluru around the six kms radius of the glistening Yellahanka Lake on 27th November, 2015, witnessed over 350 excited corporate volunteers lend their helping hands towards the upkeep of the lake.
The volunteering initiative by the corporate volunteers who were divided into groups mainly involved measuring the height and girth of each of the 800 saplings dotting the periphery of the lake. Identifying the species of trees, mulching and de-weeding were other activities which were simultaneously undertaken.
This event comes after nearly two years when they planted 1000 saplings along with noted Environmentalist Saalu Marada Thimmakka, United Way Bengaluru, Corporates and other dignitaries.
The plant census which took place on a surprising sunny day after weeks of wet, dull and gloomy weather saw the lake at its resplendent best; lush greenery, colorful birds diving in and out and the lake overflowing with rain water after 11 years, a positive sign that our progress work was heading in the right direction.
On this occasion, the President of the Lake Welfare Association, Yellahanka Lake, Mr. Shivkumar was glad to share a few details on the history of the lake, “Kempegowda who was the founder of Bangalore 400 years ago built a series of lakes to provide clean drinking water for cattle and irrigation facilities for farmers and Yellahanka Lake was one of them.”
He added, “Now after 11 years we are blessed to witness the spectacular event called Kere Kodhi, (which roughly translates to overflowing of the lake bund.) The last time this lake overflowed was way back in 2004. This is a joyous event for the people of Yellahanka. To commemorate this event we organised the Kere Kodhi Habba a week ago and around 10,000 people participated in it.”
Due to time constraint only 800 saplings were tagged and measured, however the local community assured that the remaining plants were flourishing exceedingly well.
Ms Chandramma KempeGowda, Corporator of BBMP was all praise for the volunteering initiative. She said, “A few years ago, the lake was in a bad state. It was dumped with waste, sewage and water was stagnated. But thanks to the support of MLA Vishwanath and other teams, the lake has got a face-lift. We wish to continue to develop the lake further.”
The Yellahanka lake which was taken up for rejuvenation under United Way Bengaluru’s, ‘Wake the Lake Campaign’ and supported by corporate volunteers for the past two years is indeed a great success story of how another dying lake was brought back to life.