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Bangalore lakes

We’re speechless! Because it’s Day of Action @ United Way

The month of June was a momentous one! Rolled into one green package were World Environment Day and United Way Day of Action. It rained saplings and seedballs as corporate volunteers, students, little pre-schoolers, home-makers, senior citizens and young adults alike, lent their hand to plant saplings and make seedballs for dispersal around lakes and open spaces in Bengaluru. 21-23 June 2018, were special days devoted to#UWDayofAction, and these saw lakes and anganwadis across Bengaluru buzzing with activity. As we said, we’re speechless! View the action here! But before that, a look at the numbers:

World Environment Day (over the month)

Day of Action (21 to 23 June 2018)

Volunteers

Saplings

Seed balls

Volunteers

Saplings

Seed balls

1250

1950

9100

2758

1100

102034

Tryst with Mahadevapura Lake, Bengaluru

Mihir the Birdman

Friends of United Way Bengaluru – Mihir the Birdman!

Mihir is an IT professional, who lives close to Mahadevapura Lake with his small family – wife, parents and a child. It is obvious that he has his heart in the right place because aside of looking into a computer screen, he is also a keen bird-watcher and actively engages in greening and conservation activities.

He explains his interest in bird-watching, “As I was living close to Mahadevapura Lake, I was witness to the rejuvenation efforts which began in early 2016. As I saw the lake desilted, cleaned up and greenery increasing around it, my family and I started visiting the lake. This is when I also noticed that there were a lot of birds visiting the lake.”

About Mahadevapura Lake

  • Nearest Landmark: Bagmane World Technology Centre, Outer Ring Road
  • Acres: 26.58
  • Easily accessible by bus, private vehicles or Metro.

He had bought a DSLR camera around the same time, and it seems the birds literally beckoned to be ‘shot’! It’s almost two years since Mihir’s tryst with the birds of Mahadevapura began and he modestly says he is not a bird expert but rather someone who has been documenting the birds at the lake and enjoying it too.

He says Mahadevapura and Doddanekundi Lake which he visits are great places for bird watching and photography. Lalbagh, Kaikondrahalli, Kalkere and Agara Lakes are on his wish list too. He has covered over 70 species of birds at Mahadevapura Lake over two years. Though most varieties were seen during the winter season of 2017, which is a migratory season, he has spotted birds when there are low levels of water in lakes as well. The reason for this is that some birds prefer shallow water e.g. the Painted Stork, which just walks in shallow water with its beak in the water, looking for food.

The Mahadevapura Lake Gallery of bird life

While equipment is important, he reiterates that best results are achieved through passion and persistence, rather than the equipment. He uses a DSLR Nikon D3200 + 70-300mm lens, and is currently using Nikon D3200 + 150-500mm lens and/or 2x converter.

He lists some tips for aspiring bird watchers:

  • Get as close as possible to the bird for good close-ups. This can mean you just have to be happy just watching them sometimes as they might fly away just as you are about to click, leaving you without a picture.
  • Keep a steady hand as movement can scare/disturb birds and an unsteady hand can result in shaky images
  • Patience is a prerequisite. Sometimes you have to sit hours just waiting for the right moment to click
  • Choose a less-populated and quiet place to observe birdlife
  • Learn to understand bird behaviour. They need to be left alone at times, especially during their breeding season and while they’re feeding and raising their kids
  • Try not to scare them.

UWBe salutes Mihir and his dedication!

Note: All photos are copyrighted to Mihir. They can be used with due credit given to Mihir K V. They may not be used for commercial purposes.

Source for all information: Mihir K V

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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