Reviving an Urban Lake - Doddagubbi Kere
Written specially for the Vikalp Sangam website
Near my house is a forest and a tank called Doddagubbi Kere (off Hennur-Bagalur road, Bangalore North) and I very often see a Polish-Indian youth, who lives in the area for past 15 years, in a half-built house with no modern amenities, plants and trees growing inside and all around, completely hiding it.
Over the years he has become my good friend. Most of the time I find him lost in his own world. He is a voracious reader, a lover of nature, a wood sculptor and a dreamer pursuing his dreams relentlessly. Talking to him takes one to a different realm. His views may appear impractical to people who have totally embraced the present civilisation's norms but there is so much of truth in what he says.
Behind the seemingly simple appearance of this ‘forest-man’ is the hidden wisdom of Ramana Maharishi, Kahlil Gibran, Rumi, etc.. on upto the New Age Workers. He is spiritually oriented, without being a hard-core practitioner. Instead of practicing, he has made spirituality his way of living.
He communes with insects, birds, animals, plants, sky, stars, earth… in this communion he tries to feel and experience the heart-throb of Nature and Mother Earth. This practice has made him realise his life-mission working for the ancient cause of protecting ‘SACRED OASES OF LIFE’, in his own little way.
Living next to the forest - pond, he was drawn to the spot, to spend hours after hours, years after years with ‘Lake-Mother’. He decided to revive it – revive the pond, revive the aquatic life in it, revive the flora-fauna around it.
After a double monsoon the Naturally Revived Sacred Pond was filled and healthily thriving with native medicinal species of flora as well as a wide variety of insects, birds, snakes, etc. (Aug. '15)
Single-handedly he has been working for the ponds revival for years. He has done deep research on tanks, lakes, flora, fauna, forests, Sacred Jungles, Ponds, Islands, bio-diversity, etc. He has discussed extensively with scientists, NGOs, Government officials and down-to-earth villagers.
By this pond he has documented evidence of Simple, Cheap, Natural ways of reviving ecology while Caring for its extreme sensitivity.
Ravi says, “Our pond is the only documented example of a simple, Natural Pond-Forest revival, a Solution for the looming urban environmental and water crisis: ‘SACRED OASES on ISLANDS’. At minimum cost, my lone efforts have allowed Mother Nature to revive the 1-3 acre pond, such that it has not dried up in 4+ years, despite being flooded with illegal pollution five times in the past two years.”
1.5 acres of water stood safely even during the worst summer in 50 years (in March '16)!
He makes tireless fervent requests for help to save the last Pure Lake existing and still ‘Breathing’ within a 30 km radius of Bangalore City. Yet oftentimes his meetings with people have met with cold responses.
Names of lakes marked on the map - these can yet be saved as oases of life:
0. Alur Lake, Vaderahalli
1. Laxmipura Lake, KG Srikantapura
2. Abbigere Lake
2.5 BSF, Suggatta (Military)
3.5 Agro Institute, Hebbal
4. Doddagubbi Lake
5. Chikkagubbi Lake
5.5 Kannuru Lake
6. Yerappanahalli Lake
7. Benninganahalli, Kasturinagar
8. Kathalipalya, Baiyappanahalli (Military)
9. Munimarappa Garden (Military)
10. Palace Grounds
11. Bangalore University
11.5 Suli Lake, Kenchanapura
12. Subhash Nagar, Kengeri
13. Turahalli Forest
14. Lal Bagh - south pond
15. Koromangala Ring Road x2 (Military)
16. Opposite Iblur (Military)
17. Ayyappanagar, Hoodi Road
18. Vegetable Garden, Varthur Lake, north
19. Thyagaraja Layout
20. Krupanidhi College, Doddakannelli Road
21. Doddakannelli Lake, Kaikondrahalli
23. Hosa Lake, Parappana Agrahara
24. Vittasandra lake
24.5 Hulimavu lake
25. Gottigere Lake
26. Bannerghatta National Park x2
27. OB Chudanahalli, Roerich Estate
28. Agara Lake, Thattaguni
29. Narayanaghatta Lake, Chintala Madivala
30. Muthanallur Lake, Ramasagara
He finds, “People have no time to listen or they feel it is not that important. The addictions of civilised life have made people pretty benumbed toward Nature and Mother Earth. They are yet to appreciate the values of ‘prevention better than cure’, despite seeing the increase in natural disasters around the globe.” Still his zeal in pursuing his life-mission has not dampened even one bit.
With great conviction he says, “LAKES ARE OUR LUNGS. LAKES HAVE TO BREATHE. MOTHER NATURE HAS TO BREATHE. ONLY THEN WE WILL ALL BREATHE.”
He believes, “We should work along with Nature, rather than trying to control or teach Mother Nature how to function (for our own benefit).”
This boy who has dedicated his life to the great mission “SAVE OASES, SAVE WATER, SAVE LIFE” deserves all appreciation and all support from all possible sources.
Contact Ravi, the forest-man
Video on Ravi's work on Doddagubbi Kere