Monday, February 23, 2015

Wildlife in a City Pond!

This weekend saw another celebration of the dwindling water-bodies and its attendant greenery within the city at our neighbourhood kere (lake in kannada) at the Puttenahalli kere habba. Organized on the lines of a similar kere habba (literally meaning lake festival in Kannada) at Kaikondrahalli lake at Sarjapur Road by Namma Bengaluru Foundation, this festival attempted to draw the spotlight on the importance of conservation of lakes amidst the growing concrete jungle. Though we missed the habba due to confusion regarding dates ( assumed it was to be held on Sunday instead of Saturday), we have been regular visitors at the lake. So much so that my father-in-law’s day is incomplete without his refreshing morning walk around the lake! Puttenahalli kere is also home to many species of birds and a true delight for bird watchers and naturalists alike. But I must say that Puttenahalli lake would not have been the same, if not the continual efforts of Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) to rejuvenate and maintain the lake and the surrounding environs. Further, events and initiatives like these not only help sensitize our kids to the environment around them but also garner support for retention of parks, lakes and such open spaces, lest they get swallowed by land sharks!

So in this background, today we read  a beautiful story titled “Wildlife in a city pond  by Ashish Kothari and vividly illustrated by Sangeetha Kadur, a level 4 Reader from Pratham publications. Narrated in first person, the author is puzzled by a deafening cacophony emerging from below his balcony as he moved into his new home in Pune, only to find the mystery solved the next morning as he discovered a small pond below in an abandoned quarry. Over the next year, he saw the pond undergo transformation through the seasons, especially during monsoon when the pond came to life with a host of plant and animal life finding shelter. What a joy it was to wake up hearing the chirping of mynas, watching brilliant blue kingfishers swoop into the water for their daily feed of fish  …baya weaver birds resting in their tailor made nests…. even flapshell turtles swimming in the pond and finally being lulled to sleep  by the croaking frogs at night!  However one day, the pond and its wildlife were threatened from the so called development plans to the drain the wetland to make space for more buildings. However, thanks to the efforts of the residents who sought help from all quarters from the media and environment protection groups to the city commissioner….the pond was declared off limits for any construction!  So just like the author in the book, we residents of J P Nagar VII phase are lucky to enjoy to a mini sanctuary amidst the bustling city!  Kudos to PNLIT and Namma Bengaluru Foundation for making Puttenahalli kere the pride of J P Nagar VII Phase area!  :-)

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