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Kere Habba 2016; A festival on the banks of Kaikondrahalli lake

keer6ck runckCity Kemp News
At the crack of the dawn and a misty morning, Kaikondrahalli Lake came alive on Saturday with various environment friendly activities.
This was the second such event –  Kere Habba 2016 aimed at raising awareness, increasing community participation and fostering an appreciation of lakes in Bengaluru. Nearly 4,500 people from the neighbourhood took part in the day long activities.
Kere Habba at Kaikondrahalli Lake was a sunrise to sunset event and organised by neighbourhood volunteers, where the community can connect to the lake, to each other and to issues & inspiring ideas in the field of conservation.
Dechamma Chetan a visitor said the lake is a “beautiful place for bird watching” and said she had a great time. Another visitor Chirdeep Shetty said he too loved the event. Mukesh who also lives near the lake, came with his family and said he “had an awesome time in Family Relay.”
Kere Habba at Kaikondrahalli Lake was a sunrise to sunset event and completely organised by neighbourhood volunteers, where the residents could connect to the lake, to each other and to issues and inspiring ideas in the field of conservation. The nearly two kilometre walkway around the lake featured various activities.
The amphitheatre saw story telling by Vikram Sridhar, discussions exploring nature motifs in the Bhagavad Gita by well known author Roopa Pai and music by a local band Impyosters.
Naturalists led a bird walk and small animal wildlife walk.  There was also water-based science activities. Children picked up seeds and learnt about gardening. There was also introduction to desi cow, craft and sensory workshops, and they played traditional games hosted by Renuka School students, rope walking, scavenger hunt, Rangoli etc.
Satish who had cycled from Bangladesh to Bengaluru talked about his adventures. Other groups of citizens discussed issues related to lakes, roads and commuter rail and ways to improve their neighbourhood.
“This event stands inspiration to other communities who have a lake in their neighbourhood on how they can help develop their own kere and maintain it as a place for connecting to nature” – Teju Nageshwari, local resident and active volunteer at the lake.
The event was organised with the environment in mind. Residents nearby walked down to the lake. Many brought their own water bottle, and they could refill at the water stations were setup around the lake.
People enjoyed the varied offerings at the food stalls, from ragi momos, bisi bele bath made with millets to pesarat dosas and sugar free muffins. Many children and their parents were seen manning juice stalls serving lemonade and watermelon crush in reusable tumblers.
Food was served in leaf donnes or arecanut plates – the event generated zero waste! Uma, a resident of Sarjapur Road said, “It was a great community connect event. And such an eco friendly event that most people came with their own bags!”
The event has been supported by sponsors from all around bangalore – Argham Silver Sponsor, PLAY arena, Viva Fitness, Club Mahindra, Fresh Menu, Big Basket, Manini Sarees, SayFix, Clean Fanatic, HDFC Bank, and Four Fountains Spa.

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kere1ck medickFrom the rejuvenation of the lake to its maintenance and upkeep, it has been a community driven effort. It is a showcase for all citizens to instill confidence in the wonders an active group can achieve.
“In a concrete jungle like Bangalore, places like Kaikondrahalli lake are one of the few breathing spaces left. It is very important to preserve and create more spaces like this. Kere habba is one of the ways to promote this concept and reach out to like-minded people to achieve this”, said Vidya Gomati, Kaikondarahalli Lake Citizen Committee.
“Kaikondrahalli lake is a virtual extension of my home, my workout coach and oxygen for my soul. Can a mall with its closed walls, junk food and cheap trappings match it one bit?” said Shilpi Sahu, local resident and active volunteer at the lake.
The event was organised with the environment in mind. Walking, cycling and public transport encouraged. Visitors were encouraged to bring their own water bottle, with water stations available for refills. No to plastic and no disposables.
Most food stalls served at least some organic/sustainably farmed produce and waste was segregated and managed responsibly.
Mahadevapura Parisara Samrakshane Mattu Abhivrudhi Samiti (MAPSAS) (Mahadevapura Environment Protection and Development Trust)
MAPSAS is a community-oriented Not For Profit Trust, formed by citizens to take up ecological lake maintenance activities after rejuvenation of lakes in Mahadevpura constituency of Bangalore city.
The members of the Trust have been engaged with the BBMP since 2008 to rejuvenate Kaikondrahalli Lake and Lower Ambalipura Lake in an environmentally sustainable, socially responsible manner. Kaikondarahalli lake is managed with equal funding from citizens contributions and United Way. From April onwards United Way’s contributions will decrease to 25%.
The Trust has also recently taken up the role of community custodian of three more lakes — Soul Kere (where Genpact is funding Maintenance in partnership with United Way) as well as Kasavanahalli Lake and Haralur lake — both of which will be hugely helped if corporates partner with MAPSAS to help with maintenance.

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