PNLIT is ten

Ten years ago on this day, four people were waiting at the sub-registrar’s office in JP Nagar to get a trust deed registered. Along with them, two others, who were to sign as witnesses. Usha, Prasanna and OP Ramaswamy (who I pulled in just that morning), Sripriya and Vardhana, along with me.

We were well prepared. I had drafted the trust deed myself with inputs from others (incl Ashwin Mahesh who was instrumental in the formation of PNLIT), and had it checked by a lawyer. I also made a visit to the sub-registrar’s office a couple of days earlier to get the document reviewed by the office clerks. Carefully printed it at home, and took it along with all the papers that the clerks had told us to bring. Despite all this, given the reputation that the sub-registrar offices have, it would be wrong to say that we were not worried about being put in an uncomfortable spot at some stage. It took but an hour or so. We were done… mugshots, signatures and all, and with the satisfaction that it was a “clean” effort. Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) was born! In no time, we had decided on a logo, made a facebook page and started building a website; opened a bank account, applied for PAN and started doing whatever was necessary for tax exemption purposes.

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The Badminton Ball Tree on G’ma’s 97th

On my grandmother’s 90th birthday, on 19th September 2010, she planted two saplings at Puttehahalli Lake.

The first was a Kadamba, that along with most of the other saplings planted on that stretch did not survive. The ground underneath has a lot of plastic, and this could be one of the reasons. The area is now a butterfly garden with lots of shrubs.

Kadamba tree planting
The Kadama did not survive, but I do so like this pic with my mom, g’mom and me! (taken by Usha)

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December scenes at Puttenahalli Lake

Ever since my family moved from Bangalore, it goes without saying that a trip to Bangalore would include several visits to our dear Puttenahalli Lake. My boys love the idea, not because of the lake, but because it gets them to Brigade Millennium where they always look forward to meeting up with old friends. Though reasonably well updated on the happenings at the lake (I need to be, to manage the PNLIT website, blog, facebook page, twitter account and other online activity), there is nothing like being there and seeing the trees, flowers, birds and lake for myself. And a reasonably good camera helps to keep the memories till the next visit! Continue reading

Encouraging the Bicycle

“The provision of secure, well located cycle parking is essential if people are to be encouraged to use a bicycle as a means of transport. By indicating to the public that cyclists are welcome, cycle parking facilities act as a message to motorists to consider cycling in the future.” – “Cycle parking” Information Sheet – Apr 2004, issued by Sustrans and Cyclists’ Touring Club, UK

Cycle stand installed at Puttenahalli Lake (Pic: OP Ramaswamy)

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The new Speed Post rates could give courier services a boost

With the presence of the PNLIT Store on eBay Charity, I’ve become a regular user of India Post and courier service companies – to dispatch purchases that have been made by donor buyers. We’ve had buyers from all parts of India, from large cities like Delhi and Mumbai to small towns like Chittoor and Soraba. To minimize our costs, I’ve always been on the look out for the cheapest way of shipping the products. So I’ve had the opportunity of experiencing the different India Post products and those of courier service companies too.

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Catching the rain where it drops

The shortage of water in recent times seems to have revived the ancient technology of Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) in urban India. Many children who are learning about RWH think it is an innovation of modern day eco-saviours and are surprised to know that civilizations such as the Indus Valley, Greek, Roman had incorporated RWH in their architecture thousands of years ago. Common sense would have told our ancestors that places located away from a sea coast or the banks of a river needed to depend on the rain to meet water requirements, and given that it would not rain through the year, the water that did fall from the sky needed to be saved. The founders of Bangaore knew this too, and that is why Bangalore was once the City of Lakes (rain-fed lakes). Continue reading

Support my run for PNLIT @ TCS World 10K Bangalore

On 27th May 2012, I, along with hundreds of others, will be running in the TCS marathon event in Bangalore. It is a long time since my athletics and basketball days, but I am looking forward to running, to raise funds for PNLIT and Puttenahalli Lake.

You may know about the efforts of the citizens’ group PNLIT in nurturing Puttenahalli Lake (near Brigade School, JP Nagar) and making it a pleasant Public Open Space for us and also a secure bird habitat. With the depleting water table in Bangalore, this preservation and conservation project is very significant in helping improve the ground water situation in south Bangalore, and setting an example for other citizens to emulate.

I am looking to my friends and relatives to come forward and donate to support my run. Any amount is welcome, every rupee counts. Every rupee shows that you care for our environment and our future generations.  Continue reading

Spark the Rise, your vote counts!

PNLIT, is a not-for profit charitable trust that Usha, Prasanna, OPR and I started in Bangalore in June 2010. The trust is registered under the Indian Trust Act and we have already received Income Tax 80G exemption for donors. We presently maintain a 13-acre lake called Puttenahalli Lake, in JP Nagar 7th Phase, Bangalore.

Our project “PNLIT – nurturing Puttenahalli Lake back to its pristine glory” has been cleared as an entry in Mahindra Spark the Rise (Round 4) – a programme that recognises ‘sparks’ and gives them a chance to win grants.

What is Spark the Rise?

“You have the passion. You have the ideas. You thrive on innovation. And you know what it takes to fulfill the real needs that’ll improve the life of Indians. So what’s stopping you? Time to take action. Time to Spark the Rise.”