Somewhere in Bengaluru....

The 55-acre Kowdenahalli Lake, which was once a deserted swamp, is now a vibrant waterbody frequented by birds. It's home to several species of fish and reptiles and medicinal plants and fruit-bearing trees dot its periphery.

Residents recalled how they would be scared to visit the lake 10 years ago as the water then couldn't be differentiated from muck. Today, under the United Way Bengaluru flagship initiative, Wake the Lake, the waterbody has been rejuvenated, thanks to community, government and corporate collaboration.

C Narayanappa, president of the KR Puram Lake and Environment Protection Trust, is taking the lead from the community's side. From urging the local MLA to release funds for lake development to driving concerted community efforts like cleanliness and plantation, he hopes the waterbody will be a model for citizen participation in lake rejuvenation.

“The community has registered itself as a trust and we have got Rs.1.2 crore sanctioned from the MLA's fund for developmental works. As of now, there is a gravel pathway lined up with LED streetlights, toilets, gazebos and benches. But soon there will be an open gym, yoga space and a children's park. We also allow contractual fishing as fish ensure cleanliness of the water and also draws birds to feed on them,“ he said.

Cheluraju, who has been staying in Ramamurthy Nagar for 40 years, says it is a matter of pride for the residents that despite having 15 lakes in neighbouring areas, people prefer to come to Kowdenahalli for their daily walk.

D Muralidhar Nair, a retired employee, said several people using the park play their part in contributing to the infrastructure, including installing the notice board and ensuring drinking water facilities.

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