Published: 12th August 2018
Fed up of froth and fire, this Bengaluru teen creates a campaign to save Bellandur lake
The grade 10 student started the Save Bellandur Lake campaign to raise awareness among the people of Bengaluru
Bellandur lake has long been a topic that riles up the residents in Bengaluru. While urbanisation has taken its toll on the lake, we have a 15-year-old doing his own good deed to ameliorate its condition. Gautam Dayal, a grade 10 student of The International School Bangalore (TISB), started his own campaign, Save Bellandur Lake campaign.
Gautam's platform connects people with a common concern for the lake. It has integrated a Tweeter feed, an events page. There is also a 'problem forum' where people can voice their concerns publicly and 'one solution forum' where people can share ideas on those problems.
Like several other residents, Gautam has been living in an apartment near the lake since grade 5 and experienced its worsening condition. "I have personally seen the condition of the lake getting really bad. The fumes, smoke and foam from the sewage travel all the way to our apartment. I always wanted to do something but never knew where to start'' he says.
A year ago, an organisation had visited his school and conducted a Future Leadership Program where students were exposed to various problem-solving techniques. It was here where Gautam decided to focus on Bellandur Lake. He had been wanting to help for so long in any case.
Just like him, there were many other people who wanted to help but didn't know where to start--adding to the reason as to why he thought of creating a platform for concerned citizens to connect and share their issues and solution to the problem was necessary. Also, he figured that there are many great plans and studies being done on such matters but information on them is scattered.
When asked about the citizens involved in helping him create this website he says, ''Seema Sharma, a citizen activist who lives in our apartment complex, is my mentor for this project. She is very hard working and a part of the Bellandur Lake Group. My family too supported me and connected me to people."
Talking about the challenges he faced in creating the website he says, ''Though I took help from an expert, it was still a challenge for me to organise all the used case studies, and understand what they need. More than this, it was difficult to get people involved and use the website. Some people involved in the lake felt they didn't really need the site. So, as a kid, it was hard to convince such people about the idea.''
As part of his future plans, he wishes to mobilise as many young Bengalureans as he can on the issue. He is also working on getting NGOs and activists to use this website for their communication. ''I hope this website helps in sensitising the citizens towards the lake and they begin to care too.''
To raise concerns and provide solutions to the Bellandur lake issue, visit www.savebellandurlake.org