By Reena Pillai
United Way Bengaluru’s Wake the Lake Campaign’ earned another feather in its cap when a financial aid of Rs. 3 crore (approximately half million USD) was announced from the Tourism Department for the rejuvenation of lakes. This was announced by the Priyank Kharge, Honorable Minister for IT/BT and Tourism on the occasion of the third edition of the Live United Annual day which took place on 30 June, 2017 at the Royal Orchid Hotel, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru.
On the occasion, the coffee table book on lakes titled “Breathing life into lakes” was unveiled by the Chief Guest Mr. Priyank Kharge, Retd. Justice N.K Patil, Mr Satish, Chief Engineer of Lakes, Mr Prashanth Prakash, Board Chair, United Way Bengaluru, Mr Sabu Thomas, Board Member, United Way Bengaluru and Manish Michael, CEO of United Way Bengaluru to commemorate the successful work on 16 lakes in the city.
After distributing mementoes to all our 27 corporate partner, Minister Kharge said, “This campaign undertaken by United Way of Bengaluru has created a lasting impact amongst the community. By instilling the need to participate in the city’s development amongst citizens, UWBe has ensured that communities take responsibility in improving Bengaluru’s environment and once again making it the ‘city of lakes’ as it was known in the earlier days. This initiative has set an excellent benchmark for the rest of the country. Hence, I pledge my support on the stage itself and announce Rs. 3 crore for United Way Bengaluru for the rejuvenation of lakes.”
He also announced the three- day festive Nandi Habba, a collaborative initiative by United Way Bengaluru, Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Discovery Village, Namma Nemma cycle, Nandi Valley Walks and others which will be held from 1st to 3rd September, 2017.
He added, “I’m glad to announce the Nandi Habba which will create a different perspective on Nandi Hills. This will help create more awareness and sensitivity on the importance of culture and heritage and saving the vast flora and fauna. Other than marathon, walkathon, we will also be organizing cyclelathon, rock climbing, nature walks and heritage walks.
Retired Justice NK Patil who distributed mementoes to all community members and our vendors, congratulated the UWBe team and corporate partners for their commitment and dedication towards working for the betterment of the society.
He said, “In 2011, I made a master action plan report for developing 386 large lakes and 121 small lakes in and around Bengaluru with inputs from the several civic bodies. However, the progress is not upto the mark. It is time to do something for our generation and I urge each one of you present here to work towards bettering the society. It is not a great task but requires sustained courage, willpower and determination.”
Nandi Habba to be held from 1st to 3rd September
Mr. Siddhart Raja from Nandi Valley Walks spoke about Nandi Hills and stressed that “The best of Nandi Hills is not at the Top, its at the Foot!
He explained about the various heritage sites which would be toured during the Nandi Habba to be held from 1st to 3rd September, 2017.He said, “For the Nandi Habba, we wish to encourage the local participation from the surrounding villages and drive government support to our causes as the Nandi Hills falls under three districts which are Bengaluru rural, Chickballapur and Doddaballapur.”
The four main causes which will be supported through Nandi Habba are
Water rejuvenation: Preserving the local keres or lakes.
Tree plantation drives and with complete maintenance and nurturing
Clear strategy on solid waste management
Support people from local areas through sustainable livelihood projects
Mr Manish Michael, CEO of United Way Bengaluru (above) presented the annual report for the year 2016-17 and the vote of thanks and Mr Rajesh Krishnan, COO of United Way Bengaluru (below) announced the citations for corporate partners.
Mr. Sabu Thomas, Mr. BG Mahesh and Ms. Suzanne Singh along with Justice NK Patil gave away mementos to all community members supporting lake rejuvenation. Niharika, a volunteer, was the MC for the event.
United Way Bengaluru’s,‘Live United Annual Meet’ is an occasion to thank each and every corporate partners and other critical stakeholders personally and deepen this relationship by taking them through our current and future projects in detail. We showase our achievements and share how our impact now reaches out to both direct and indirectly beneficiaries.