It reflects the sad state of Bengaluru lakes when half the people I asked direction to Chele Kere lake (from Kalyan nagar bus stop) didn't know there was a lake nearby. Some even gave me odd looks. Fortunately, those who knew guided me in right direction and I reached the spot for maintenance drive conducted by SayTrees and supported by BTC.
I had attended plantation drives in preceding months, but it was a first with regards to maintenance. I had come just as organizers had finished giving instructions to a good turn out of volunteers. So, after taking a few pics, I caught up with Arun to guide me.
It primarily consisted of four steps:
- Loosen the soil around the planted saplings as well as removing the overgrown weeds
- Make bund around the sapling for water to stay
- Add dry leaves (already brought to the place in huge bags) so that water evaporation is slowed, and later acts as manure
- Watering - two buckets per sapling
Despite a sunny day, we went about our task enthusiastically. It helped that usually two worked together at a sapling, taking turns with first three steps. When a few rows had been done, about half the volunteers switched to forming human chain and watering while others continued with remaining saplings.
A few of us, while taking a break from watering/digging, filled water bottles and passed around to thirsty volunteers. It was as seamless a drive as I've been part of. Everybody co-operating and switching tasks to keep going.
After first round of watering, a member from SayTrees interviewed a few of us on live video. It was interesting to hear different views and reasons. We then had some snacks and fruits to energize ourselves.
It became harder as the day became hotter but we kept at it and around noon every sapling had been taken care and watered. We did deserve the applause we gave ourselves ;) And of course, before dispersing, we took plenty of group photos.