38-year-old Anand Malligavad is a Techie from Bangalore who has given up a plush corporate job and dedicated his life to rejuvenating lakes. Anand was pained to see several lakes drying up due to urbanization and neglect. He took up the project to clean Lake Kyalasanahalli, while heading the CSR initiative of his company (Sansera) in 2017. His efforts have turned the lake into a haven of crystal clear potable water from being a dried up wasteland. He is now all set to rejuvenate 45 more lakes by 2025.
The Kyalasanahalli Lake near Anekal was restored in only 45 days. Anand designed and executed the rehabilitation procedure with the help of nearby communities, including several techies from Electronic City. Sansera Foundation had given an initial funding of Rs 1 crore and 17 lakh. Anand campaigned from house to house to spread awareness and to rope in local support for the task. People began to show up to join hands and work for long hours to make this possible.
At first, the lake was a total disaster, all dried up and the villagers were using it as a dumping ground. However, with merely three earth movers and six trucks , their efforts went on to create an oasis. Industry experts, architects, engineers, and fellow citizens had chipped in. Together, they removed almost 4 lakh cubic meters of mud from the lake. Five islands of 110 diameters each, all across the lake, was created from this mud in only ten days. After this, these islands have become spots for birds who rest in the trees planted in the middle for nests.
A total of 18,000 saplings, 3,000 fruit bearing plants of 22 varieties, 3,000 native species of plants, and 2,000 ayurvedic plants, now populate the lake area. Canals to get rainwater into the lake were dug and when the first rains arrived, it was thrilling to see the Lake fill up for the first time in 30 years.
Enthused by the success at Lake Kylasanahalli, his next stop was the Vabasandra Lake near Bommasandra. He raised funding of Rs 75 lakh from Hewlett-Packard (HP) and began the work on April 5, 2018. In just two months, the 9-acre area of the lake was transformed into a 50 ft deep water reservoir. Similarly, he restored 16-acres of Konasandara Lake which was in a worse situation than the foam-filled Bellandur lake.
With 42 more lakes to be covered and saved, Anand plans to revive the water bodies into one of the best wetlands in India. Above all, he feels the local population has to be educated about taking care of their precious water resources.