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David wake lake story passion fire

David’s coconut trees

The Government Primary School in SolagoduVillage of Hassan District, Karnataka boasts of two coconut trees planted over 30 years ago. The coconuts from the tree are used regularly to make delicious mid-day meals at the school. The young boy, David, who planted the trees has now devoted his entire life to conservation.

“I am happiest when I am communing with nature, and feeling soil between my fingers,” says David Kumar Anthonappa who is serving as General Manager, Community Initiatives at United Way Bengaluru. When he is not juggling figures, meeting deadlines or writing reports, David escapes to a lake and pen poetry or photograph sunsets.

David’s tryst with lakes began when he was just 30. Eechalakatte Kere, the lake in K Byadarahalli Kaval, his native village was languishing for lack of care. It was silted up and lost its water bearing capacity and the bund had weakened.  David’s heart went out to the cattle that were deprived of water for drinking and bathing. He knew he had to do something. He and a few friends got together and resolved to bring Eechalakatte Kere back to life. He recalls, “We had the resolve but no funds to do anything. So my friends and I filed an RTI to find out what funds were available with the panchayat for lake rejuvenation. This helped us and we repaired the bund and desilted the lake. My happiest memoriess are of the days when we were bringing the lake back to life.”

Eechalakatte Kere

After restoring the lake, David felt a new spark come into him. It became clear that a healthy water body meant life for its surroundings. Humans, animals and plant life were equally benefitted by it. His new direction was clearly ahead of him.

David joined United Way Bengaluru and simultaneously took up lake rejuvenation activities at Uttarahalli Lake in Bengaluru. The challenges were huge. The lake had become a dumpyard and a place for anti-social activities. There was apathy from the community towards the lake. “I felt so hopeless sometimes. But my experience with Eechalakatte Kere gave me hope and Manish Michael, our CEO, and I did not give up. Soon, we were proud to see a healthy water body where there was once a stinking mess.”

Uttarahalli Kere was to be the first of a series of lakes revived by United Way Bengaluru under Wake the Lake. The number today adds up to 20, and the future for lakes in Bengaluru is bright. The lake team at United Way Bengaluru is committed to achieving scale and has garnered corporate support, volunteer engagement and is still hungry for more. They are the busy bees of United Way Bengaluru. Wake the Lake has created ripples in the lakes space and the citizens of Bengaluru are passionate about protecting their lakes.

Truly, all it takes is a spark to ignite a fire, albeit one that cools! The lakes of Bengaluru are in safe hands.

Yet another World Water Day

Renewed hope, stronger resolutions

Yet another World Water Day is around the corner. The world will be awash with events, messages and calls to action for the cause of water. Rallies and festivities will mark the day and the media will showcase World Water Day with all the fanfare it deserves. As World Water Day 2018 passes, we might all go back to ‘water slumber’ and wake up for the next one.

But let’s try and make this year a little different. Let’s recognize that the trends with regard to water are not good. They have not been good for years. The data doesn’t change, the situation worsens and we seem to take water for granted, as we do with the air we breathe. Consider the facts:

Save Bangalore

Source: Google

  • There are more than 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home.
  • Nearly 97 per cent of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2 per cent is in glaciers or ice caps. That leaves only one per cent of the water to fulfill all our needs.
  • India, one of the fastest growing economies and home to almost a fifth of the world’s population, was ranked in an annual Water Aid survey as having the greatest number of people living rurally without access to clean water: 63 million.
  • Closer to home, Bengaluru was ranked in a recent BBC report as the world’s second city likely to soon run out of drinking water.

Is this the world we want to leave behind for our children? The answer is an obvious NO. Let’s then take some ‘water positive’ actions this year. Let’s look around us. What are the resources we have, which we can preserve and conserve? What are the little things we can do to save big, like attending to leaky taps, using less water for everyday tasks like taking a shower, or washing our cars?

Save Water

Source: google

Let’s expand our world a bit. Is your neighbourhood lake in good shape? Can you do anything to make a difference? Do you want to be involved in keeping our world, and more importantly your city/town/village water secure? If the answer is yes to all the questions that threaten water security, then click here

Wake the Lake is an initiative of United Way Bengaluru that has been successful in reclaiming and restoring several lakes which were on the verge of total collapse and ruin, by clearing them of sewage, improving the quality of water and turning them into active community spaces.

You too can engage with us by volunteering, donating, advocating or simply visiting any of the lakes we have rejuvenated, with your family and friends. Write to us to for more at info@uwbengaluru.org

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